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 Occasionally the moves are rescinded so that issue can be addressed, which is what happened with Chris Withrow and the Dodgers recently.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.”
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.