CINCINNATI — It was 3:45 Saturday afternoon and Tony Cingrani was standing in front of his locker, confident and hopeful his back was healed enough so he could make his scheduled Sunday start against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I feel fantastic,” said Cingrani. “I have no idea if I’m pitching. It is not up to me. I’d pitch every day, but it is not up to me. I feel a lot better. They stabbed me with some anti-inflammatories. So it is better.”
Article continues below ...
At 3:58 Greg Reynolds walked into the clubhouse, his equipment bag slung over his shoulder after driving up to Cincinnati from Louisville.
“I haven’t been told anything yet, other to get up here,” said Reynolds. “So I’d better not say anything until I talk to (pitching coach) Bryan Price. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
While Reds manager Dusty Baker tried hedge it a bit, it was evident that Reynolds will be on the mound Sunday and Cingrani will be on the disabled list.
“Reynolds is our guy if Cingrani can’t go,” said Baker. “We’ll know later tonight after Cingrani’s treatments. But we are leaning toward Reynolds or he wouldn’t be here.”
Baker said Cingrani would miss Sunday’s start and his next scheduled start while he is on the 15-day disabled list and would be back in time to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 5.
“We can’t afford a short outing from a starter again and put more pressure on our bullpen,” said Baker. Cingrani lasted only 3 2/3 innings his previous start before leaving with a back strain. “We’re heading from here to St. Louis (Monday) and we need our bullpen as fit and ready as we can have it.
“All of our starters are very aware and conscious of the work load that has been put on the bullpen,” Baker added. “To a man they’ve all said we’ll do what we can to go deeper into games.”
Reynolds was an emergency call-up for one game July 23 in San Francisco to pitch one game of a doubleheader that surfaced after a rainout.
The 6-7, 225-pound right hander, a Stanford University product, was born in Pacifica, near San Francisco, so he was pitching in front of family and friends, adding pressure to his Reds debut.
He had a shaky first inning and lasted five, giving up five runs and eight hits and took a loss.
“I’ll be more comfortable this time because now I’ve met everybody,” said Reynolds. “In San Francisco, things were moving a little fast and I had trouble slowing things down. I don’t anticipate that being an issue again. There will some adrenaline but I’ll be able to handle it this time.
“There was a lot of other stuff that went on other than pitching, with my family and friends coming out, a lot of extra stuff attached to that start. I’ll be a little more calm.”
Reynolds will be pitching on his normal day because his last start was five days ago when he pitched a complete-game, stopping the team’s 12-game losing streak.
“That was definitely one of my better games this year,” he said after lifting his record to 12-3 with a 2.0 earned run average in 21 starts with three complete games and one shutout. “I felt really good with everything. I had a good steady mix of all four of my pitches. With that losing streak we really needed a win.
“We are all about routines and it definitely makes a difference when you stay on schedule,” said Reynolds. “Sometimes if you have a couple of extra days you don’t feel sharp. This will be right on schedule.”