Cingrani in camp to start
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The plan remains to have Reds lefty pitching prospect Tony Cingrani pitch as a starter in camp. The expectation is that Cingrani can begin the season at Triple-A Louisville and be backup depth if someone in the big league rotation goes down.
As a September call-up, Cingrani worked out of the bullpen, but the Reds don't have any thoughts on doing that this season.
"He can always relieve," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "But he's got to work on his breaking ball to make him a complete pitcher. There aren't many power left-handers around. The ones that are, are very good."
Cingrani, 23, was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012 after he went a combined 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA at Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. He posted a 1.80 ERA in three appearances for the Reds.
"He knows he can pitch," Baker said. "He's one of the few guys I've seen that pitches with just his fastball and occasional breaking balls and some changeups."
This from Mark Sheldon, MLB. Thought the Maddux reference is pretty interesting.
Actually, this is the exact same scenario the Reds had last year.
“I’ve already talked to him. We weren’t sure until up to the end [of spring] last year,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Thursday morning. “We’ve got six starters. He’s still in my plans.”
Chapman was moved to the bullpen at the end of last spring when injuries forced the change. The Reds wound up having no injuries to the rotation and used the same five starts throughout. It would be delusional to think they’d be that fortunate two years in a row, so the Reds are definitely not taking any chances. Leake had an inconsistent season last year as he went 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA.
“The toughest years in the big leagues are the third, fourth and fifth years when everybody knows you,” Baker said. “They know you’re not getting your breaking ball over. They know you follow your changeup with a fastball. Now it’s up to you to readjust. There is no room for a marginal or bad year. People just want to take you off to the side. Every pitcher I know has had a bad year or two.”
“He’s a Maddux type. I made a call to Greg and Greg talked to him about some things.”
I'm going to work with Drew Stubbs this winter on some things...to reduce his strikeouts....and he's going to bunt more next year"
He's one of the few guys I've seen that pitches with just his fastball and occasional breaking balls and some changeups
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As Reds pitchers work in bullpen sessions, reliever Nick Masset is unable to join them. Masset, who missed all of last season, is still rehabilitating from right shoulder surgery he had in September.
Masset began a throwing program in January, and until recently was only playing catch three times a week. But it's been slow going.
"Now I'm starting to build up to throwing every day," Masset said on Thursday. "It's not exactly where I want it to be right now. But I understand that it is a process. I'm really going to have to grind through the aches and pains to build arm strength to get my arm able to throw consistently without having any setbacks."
Masset's throwing program is slated to last at least three months before he can return to game action. It's unclear when he can begin working from a mound again.
"I don't have a crystal ball right now," Masset said. "Being here every day, grinding it out and working hard with the doctors and trainers and everyone helping me out, it will be the key to getting me back on the field."
That's why we don’t have a player’s name synonymous with shoulder surgery the likes of Tommy John for elbows. I'd agree with you that his days in the MLB are probably over. The $5.5M he's been paid for the 2012-13 seasons may not quench his desire to compete, but I'm sure the money helps his peace of mind.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In each of the past two offseasons, the Reds signed a veteran infielder to serve as backup shortstop. Two years ago, Edgar Renteria served that role; last season it was Wilson Valdez. This spring, Cesar Izturis will try to make the team as backup to Zack Cozart after signing a Minor League contract last month.
"It all depends on the dynamics of the team. You don't want to have him around just to have him around," manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. "He has to be part of the team. He has to bring something to the table."
Izturis, 33, briefly played for Baker (22 games) in 2006, with the Cubs.
"He was injured when I had him," Baker said. "I'm curious to see if he's still the same. He could pick it, big time. He had a relative bat, decent speed and knows how to play the game."