Reds starter Tony Cingrani allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings today in what was an otherwise boring game (aside from that odd double play in the second inning). Cingrani, though, only allowed five hits, continuing a trend in which he hasn’t allowed more than five hits in any of his 21 career starts. According to Sean Lahman, of database fame, that hasn’t been done in 100 years.
Cingrani, 24, has gone at least five innings in 16 of his 21 starts, so the lack of offense isn’t for a dearth of opportunities. The lefty has enjoyed plenty of success early in his career despite using his fastball for a higher percentage of his pitches than anyone else in baseball except for Bartolo Colon since the start of the 2013 season (min. 100 innings). Over 127 innings, Cingrani has a 2.83 ERA and 149 strikeouts.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.
Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.
Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.