Bridging The Gap Or Fixing A Leake?
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by Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent) Follow @thesteinmann
Sometimes injuries can cripple a team and other times it can give players an opportunity. With Ryan Ludwick on the DL, Chris Heisey and Xavier Paul have been holding down the fort in Left Field. At the plate, Heisey is hitting .173, with 20 Ks in 23 games, and now finds himself with an injured hamstring.
In 20 games, Xavier Paul is hitting .297 with 10 Ks. On the mound, the Reds haven’t missed a beat with Johnny Cueto on the DL. Tony Cingrani, the 23 year old lefty, has stepped up, which will make the Reds decision even more difficult in when Cueto is ready to return.
So far this season, Mike Leake has a 4.34 ERA, and a 1-1 record. In 5 Game Starts, he’s gone 6 Innings twice, Seven Innings twice, with his last outing being his shortest, 3 Innings. He’s given up Earned Run totals of 4, 5, 0, 2, and 3 respectively.
He’s given up 3 HRs so far this season. Leake is in his 4th season with the Reds, and has won 8, 12, and 8 games in his first 3 season respectively. Those numbers are perfectly fine for any 5th starter in baseball.
Tony Cingrani Highlights April.25/2013 vs the Cubs
When Johnny Cueto was placed on the DL back in mid April, the choice to take his roster spot was obvious, the Left handed starter who hadn’t given up a run in 14 Innings, hadn’t walked a batter, with a 0.349 WHIP, and 13K Rate Per 9 Innings…Tony Cingrani.
So far, Cingrani hasn’t missed a beat. He’s made 3 starts for the big club, pitching 18 Innings, with 28 Ks (14/9 rate), 4 Walks, 0.889 WHIP – and a 1.50 ERA.
In his last start against the Nationals on Sunday, he fanned a career-high 11 batters, including 4 in one inning, and became the first rookie pitcher to fan at least 10 since Johnny Cueto did it back in 2008.
Behind his brilliant effort, the Reds were able to win their second road game of the season, where they have definitely had their struggles.
It isn’t known yet when Johnny Cueto will return to action for the Reds, although he is eligible to come off the DL at any time, it is more than likely that Cingrani will get at least another start or two before it’s decision-making time for the Reds brass.
If Tony Cingrani keeps doing what he’s doing, is that enough for him to win the 5th Starter role from Mike Leake who hasn’t done anything to lose it, or does he go back to Louisville to continue his development with the AAA team? That’s a good problem to have.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to Matt Steinmann for preparing today’s featured article. Matt was born and raised in Cincinnati, and has been a Reds fan his entire life, along with the Bengals and the UC Bearcats. His first baseball memory was watching Pete Rose hit #4192 with his Dad and grandparents when he was 5 years old.
He didn’t quite understand exactly the significance of it at the time, but it’s always stuck with him, and his love and wanting to learn about the game grew from there. Matt considers himself lucky that he was able to watch Barry Larkin play his entire Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati, so he goes down as his favorite player.
Matt currently works for 700WLW radio, the Cincinnati Reds flagship station, as the producer for the early morning show. Feel free to follow Matt on Twitter and talk the game of baseball Follow @thesteinmann
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Posted on April 29, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @thesteinmann on twitter, chicao cubs', cincinnati reds, evergreen illinois, Great American Ball Park, johnny cueto, Louisville, matt steinmann, Mike Leake, national league, NL Central, ryan ludwick, tony cingrani, Xavier Paul. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.