Left-hander Tony Cingrani, who was demoted to the minors by the Reds last week, has now been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a strained shoulder.
Instances where a player is demoted to the minors and almost immediately placed on the disabled list there often raise eyebrows because the player will not accumulate MLB service or get paid an MLB salary while on the DL in the minors. Occasionally the moves are rescinded so that issue can be addressed, which is what happened with Chris Withrow and the Dodgers recently.
Cingrani was previously on the Reds’ disabled list for two weeks in May with shoulder tendinitis and also has dealt with back problems since last year, which helps explain how he went from one of the best pitchers in the league as a rookie in 2013 to going 2-8 with a 4.55 ERA before a demotion to Triple-A this year.
Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that the latest shoulder problems were “news to us when he got down there” and Sheldon writes that “Cingrani hasn’t always been forthcoming with injuries.”
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.
Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.
Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.
Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.