But Cingrani went 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 33 innings over six starts, striking out 41. He proved that he could pitch at the major-league level, even though he allowed a relatively high seven home runs. And although there isn't a role for Cingrani in the rotation now, he's going to get another shot this season, whether through injury or implosion (shameless plug time: We talked about this on Monday's Fantasy Baseball Today).
I'm not going overboard with my holding/adding of Cingrani, but if a roster allows for him to be kept over, say, a bench bat that will never see the light of day, or a John Axford-type fingers-crossed closer gambit -- I'm going with Cingrani. There may come a point where he has to be moved to make room for a necessary addition, but owners should hold on to him for as long as possible, as a return to the majors will mean big things in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.
"We talked to him," Baker said. "He did a great job for the limited experience that he had. It was a great learning experience, but he also helped us at the same time. I talked to him and so did (pitching coach Bryan Price). He knows he needs a secondary pitch."
The team optioned Cingrani to Triple-A Saturday to clear room in the rotation for Johnny Cueto, despite Cingrani having a 3.27 ERA in his six starts. But the data bears out Baker's constructive criticism, as Cingrani threw 83.6 percent of his pitches for fastballs.
The organization is not telling Cingrani which pitches to throw or how often, but they want him to learn to be successful even when his fastball isn't working, possibly by focusing on his change-up more. He threw the change-up 5.9 percent of the time in the majors.
"We want him to get comfortable with it on the sideline so he can take it to the game," Baker said. "Everyone says throw the breaking ball. Everyone doesn’t have the delivery or the hand size to throw certain pitches. So we’re going to have to come up with something else to get them off the fastball. His change-up is getting better."
Cingrani went 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in six starts before being sent down. He struck out 41 batters in 33 innings.
Cingrani, who made his sixth start of the season, surrendered a two-run home run to Jimmy Rollins in the third and a run-scoring triple to Michael Young in the fifth for his only damage of the night. He was charged with three runs and five hits over five innings of work. He struck out four and walked two as he failed to factor in the decision.
Cingrani has allowed nine runs over his last 15 innings. He is expected to be sent down to Triple-A once Cueto is ready to return from the DL.
Cingrani told reporters Tuesday that he would not be surprised if he ends up being sent back down to Triple-A, and his competitor for the final spot in the rotation seemingly made the decision much more difficult Wednesday. Mike Leake tossed six-plus scoreless innings against the Marlins, putting Cingrani at a disadvantage moving forward.
Also working against Cingrani is a bit of soreness in his throwing shoulder that has already pushed his next start back to Friday. At this point, it looks like the deck is stacked against the younger starter. A decision should come soon, and we would obviously prefer if Cingrani stayed in the rotation, given his upside.
As Scott White noted earlier Wednesday, Cingrani is worth shopping in yearly Fantasy formats, given the looming decision. His long-term Fantasy value remains very high.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|5/21/2013 vs N.Y. Mets|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||AA-Pensacola Blue Wahoo||5||3||2.12||16||15||1||0||0||89.1||59||24||21||7||1||39||101|
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