Cingrani learning from Chapman and others


Most of Saturday’s talk at the Reds’ Player Development Center surrounded a 6-foot-4 left-handed flamethrower. Aroldis Chapman spoke with the media for the first time, fielding questions through an interpreter on whether he feels suited to move from the bullpen into the team’s starting rotation.

Each day when Chapman suits up, standing just a few feet to his side is another 6-foot-4 left-handed flamethrower, soaking it all in.

Hot prospect Tony Cingrani has kept his eyes wide open this spring, learning plenty from the likes of Chapman and Jonathan Broxton. Cingrani, whose meteoric rise last season started in Single-A Bakersfield and finished with three impressive appearances with the Reds, has a locker wedged between those of Chapman and Broxton.

“Seeing these guys playing every day and getting to interact with them is awesome. I used to see them on TV, just a few years ago,” Cingrani said. “I’ve been watching Bronson (Arroyo) pitch for 16 years or whatever he’s been around.”

Cingrani sits behind only Billy Hamilton and Robert Stephenson on Baseball America’s list of top Reds prospects, but he’s yet to throw a pitch in Triple-A. Many expect that’s exactly where he’ll open this season.

Manager Dusty Baker likes Cingrani’s confidence, and he’s expecting even bigger things from the 23-year-old after watching him fan nine batters in his first five innings of major-league work.

“There aren’t many power left-handers around. At least not that are any good,” Baker said. “And he knows he can pitch. He’s one of the few guys I’ve seen who can pitch with just his fastball. An occasional breaking ball and some change-ups. I think he threw something like 80 percent fastballs.”

Baker added that Cingrani will prepare as a starter through spring training, although it’s possible he’ll see some relief work.

The affable lefty says he’s been working on adding pitches to his repertoire and thinks the enhancements will help as he gets deeper into games.

“It’s basically just locating my fastball. My slider’s improved a lot. It’ll make me a better pitcher going through the lineup the third time,” Cingrani said. “Right now, I just throw my fastball through the first time and maybe the second through the lineup. Until they start hitting that.”

It’s possible Cingrani could find his way into the pen for the Reds late in the season, especially if Chapman gets entrenched in a starting role. He’s been chatting with veterans like Sean Marshall about how to handle himself in tight relief situations.

“I feel like this is where I belong,” Cingrani said. “That’s what we all want to do is make it up here.”

Happy Homer: Call it a good day for Homer Bailey, who avoided arbitration on Saturday morning by agreeing to a deal with the club. But while some speculated Bailey might get locked up for multiple seasons, the contract — reportedly at $5.3 million — only covers 2013. Club officials have said they’ll revisit a long-term deal in the future.

If Kevin Millar of the MLB Network is right, this scenario might work well for Bailey, who added yet another layer of muscle in the off-season. Millar projected Bailey as his player coming into spring in the best shape of his life, saying Bailey’s poised to top last year’s breakout campaign in which the power pitcher recorded the first no-hitter in the history of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and shaved his earned run average to 3.68.

That MLB Network feed was blaring in the Reds locker room while many were relaxing in preparation for Saturday’s workout. One of the few who missed the segment was Bailey, who strolled in just as it ended.

Say cheese, Mat: Saturday morning marked photo shoot time for the Reds, who waited in line to get their head shots snapped in a small room that links the media room to the main hallway in the team’s complex.

Pitcher Mat Latos, never accused of being too tame, stopped by Baker’s office to express his displeasure with the example pictures photographers used to show players how to pose.

“Man, to make (stuff) worse, I go in there to take a photo and he’s got a Pablo Sandoval (picture),” Latos said with a snicker in front of a group of reporters.

“I flipped that (stuff) over.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Young Reds’ starters to get long look rest of season
Young Reds’ starters to get long look rest of season

Robert Stephenson knew going into his first major league start of the 2017 season on Saturday that it wouldn’t be his last. Manager Bryan Price already had promised that Stephenson, Cincinnati’s top pick and the 27th overall selection in the 2011 draft, would be part of the Reds rotation long enough for Price and the franchise’s decision-makers...
Santillan leads Dragons past Burlington
Santillan leads Dragons past Burlington

The Dragons were hoping for a better pitching performance on Sunday against the Burlington Bees after allowing 16 runs the last two nights in lopsided losses. They had good reason to hope with Tony Santillan on the mound. Santillan has been one of Dayton’s best starters this season and had another good performance in a 6-1 win over the Bees,...
Young Reds fan kicks Marlins’ Dee Gordon before game
Young Reds fan kicks Marlins’ Dee Gordon before game

Five-year-old Reds fan, Leo Schneider, met the Marlins’ Dee Gordon before Sunday’s game in Cincinnati. Young Leo then introduced Gordon to his big toe.   “It was all planned,” Leo’s mom, Amy Danzo-Schneider, told MLB.com via phone. “Dee Gordon was motioning Leo to come to him. The umpire went with...
Romano, home runs lead Reds past Marlins
Romano, home runs lead Reds past Marlins

Rookie right-hander Sal Romano’s changeup and the Reds’ clubhouse laundry added up to a desperately needed win on Sunday. Romano made his fourth and longest big league start, keeping the Miami Marlins at bay long enough for the offense to string together enough runs for a 6-3 win in the finale of a three-game series and dismal 10-game home...
Dragons drubbed, but Siri extends hit streak to 28 games

By John Cummings Contributing Writer Somewhere, a switch was flipped on the Dayton Dragons and manager Luis Bolivar is trying to switch it back. The Dragons, who had five of their last seven games decided by two runs or less, were banged out of Fifth Third Field for the second consecutive night Saturday, 8-2 by Burlington. Dayton lost 8-1 to Peoria...
More Stories