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Tony Cingrani demoted to minors, paving way for great story

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Tony Cingrani is headed back to Triple-A.
Tony Cingrani is headed back to Triple-A. (USATSI)

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Friday afternoon, the Reds announced that they have demoted left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani to Triple-A Louisville. As a corresponding move, "Jumbo" Diaz has been promoted to the majors. We'll get to that in a second.

Cingrani, 24, had a bit of a breakout season in 2013, going 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA (130 ERA+), 1.10 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings. He entered this season fully entrenched in the rotation and many expected another step forward.

Instead, Cingrani went 2-7 with a 4.68 ERA in 11 starts. Once Mat Latos returned from injury -- and Alfredo Simon had long since performed far too well to give up his rotation spot -- Cingrani was the obvious man out. The Reds gave him two appearances in relief, but Thursday night in extra innings he took the loss. Most troubling about his outing was the control, as Cingrani walked three and hit one in 1 2/3 innings.

Cingrani will now be able to work out his issues in the minors, certainly as a starter.

As for Jumbo Diaz, good for him.

The 6-foot-4, 278-pound right hander from the Dominican Republic made his professional debut all the way back in 2002. In 12 seasons -- he missed all of 2008 -- Diaz has appeared in 340 minor-league games but never made the majors. At one point he ballooned up to nearly 350 pounds, but shed about 70 pounds this past offseason.

In 30 appearances for Louisville this year, Diaz sports a 1.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

Diaz's long journey has included stops in the Dodgers, Rangers, Orioles, Pirates and Reds organizations. And now he's finally made it to the Show, as a member of the Reds.

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