Earlier this week the Reds announced that they’re shifting Tony Cingrani to the bullpen–against the left-hander’s wishes–and today they announced that both Raisel Iglesias and Jason Marquis will have spots in the Opening Day rotation.
Iglesias was signed out of Cuba for $27 million last year, but at the time many people viewed him as more likely to be a reliever in the majors. However, he’s impressed manager Bryan Price with eight scoreless innings this spring.
Marquis is a 36-year-old veteran of 14 seasons for eight different teams, but didn’t pitch in the majors at all last year following Tommy John elbow surgery. Before his elbow gave out Marquis pitched reasonably well for the Padres in 2012 and 2013, but he hasn’t posted an ERA below 4.00 since way back in 2004. He’s probably just keeping the spot warm until Homer Bailey is healthy.
Also of note: Cincinnati informed left-hander Paul Maholm that he’s now competing for a bullpen spot, which could mean he’ll opt out of his minor-league contract in the hopes some other team still views him as a potential starter.
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.
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.”