Tony Cingrani was very impressive starting games for the Reds as a 23-year-old rookie in 2013, but after an injury wrecked 2014 season the team has decided to shift him to the bullpen this year. And according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer the left-hander seemed “disappointed and angry” when very briefly discussing the news with reporters.
Cingrani was limited to 63 mostly ineffective innings last year, got demoted to Triple-A, and spent time on the MLB and minor-league disabled lists with shoulder problems.
It’s a shame, because when healthy Cingrani has the raw stuff and off-speed pitches to thrive as a starter, but the Reds are apparently convinced he won’t hold up under the stress of a 30-start workload.
Considering they traded Alfredo Simon and Mat Latos this offseason and Homer Bailey is coming back from flexor tendon surgery they must really think Cingrani is better off in the bullpen. Raisel Iglesias, signed out of Cuba for $27 million last year, now seems to have a strong chance of claiming a spot in the rotation.
TEMPE, Ariz. — Good morning all. Today is my last day touring around the Cactus League. I’ve been to seven games in seven days and today comes number eight. I’ll be way the heck over in Surprise to visit the Kansas City Royals camp and to catch their game against the Indians. Joe Posanski wrote about the Royals and their uneventful camp last week. Here’s hoping it’s more eventful on this Monday morning.
All the people around here complain about going to Surprise because it’s so far, but it’s about the same drive as it is from Tigers camp to Yankees camp in Florida. There are way worse drives in the Grapefruit League. And no one is gonna listen to you moan about driving far to go see baseball.
I didn’t post about it yesterday, but on Sunday I took in the Cubs-Reds at Sloan Park. Nothing terribly notable about that game or day in camp apart from the fact that it was a two-hour, fourteen minute game. Travis Wood and Johnny Cueto weren’t messing around. And nothin’ but a crushed ball by Chris Denorfia really happened. Everyone else presumably had 4pm tee times.
On the personal tourist side I did do two cool things this weekend. On Saturday I went to Taliesin West, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and remains an architecture school. I took a bunch of pictures of that. It was cool.
On Sunday before the Cubs game I climbed Camelback Mountain, mostly because I am a crazy person. It was fun too. And again, something you can’t really do in Florida. You can have your beaches. I’d prefer some topography.
Oh well, that’s that. I’ll be posting from Royals camp later today.
From John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer comes word that Reds outfielder Jason Bourgeois suffered a fracture in his left shoulder while sliding into a base and will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks.
Brennan Boesch, who signed a minor league contract with the Reds this winter, is now probably a lock for the Opening Day roster. He’s been working at all three outfield spots and first base this spring.
Bourgeois, 30, was 7-for-19 (.368) with an .895 OPS through seven Cactus League games.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke just said that Dontrelle Willis has decided to retire.
A decision that, on the baseball merits, probably should’ve happened a long time ago given that he hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2011 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2006.
But you can’t really fault a guy for keeping at it if people keep giving him a chance. And people have given D-Train a chance. He was signed by the Brewers last month. Before that he did stints of various lengths with the Giants, Angels, Orioles, Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Dbacks, Tigers and Marlins. He also pitched for the Fresno Grizzlies, Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport Bluefish in independent ball. It may simply be a case of him more or less running out of teams. Heck, this isn’t even his first time retiring.
Of course there was a time when Willis was considered to be the next big thing. And for a while he was a big thing. Between 2003 and 2006 he was 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA, which in those days amounted to an ERA+ of 121. He won 22 games in 2005, made the All-Star team and finished second in Cy Young voting. Then, in December 2007, he was traded by the Marlins to the Tigers alongside a fellow named Miguel Cabrera for Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo. That ended up being one of the dumber and more lopsided trades in baseball history even with Willis falling off a cliff. With the idea that Willis would be an ace for years to come it was practically obscene.
And now he’s done. We think. He has said he was done before. But maybe this time it’ll stick. Who knows. All we know for sure is that, for now, one of baseball’s more interesting people is hanging it up.
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was diagnosed with a “minor” concussion after taking a foul tip off his mask Saturday in a Cactus League game. It’s always odd when a team labels any brain injury as “minor,” but this one does seem to be on the less-severe side.
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that Mesoraco was cleared to resume baseball activities Wednesday in Reds camp. “He’s already in the cage hitting,” Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters Wednesday morning. “He’ll go out there and throw (as well).”
Mesoraco should be ready for more Cactus League action in about a week and he is fully expected to be ready for Opening Day. The 26-year-old hit .273/.359/.534 with 25 homers and 80 RBI in 114 games last season.