Anthony Michael Cingrani
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School South Suburban Junior College, Rice University
- High School Lincoln-Way Central High School
- Debut September 9, 2012
Cingrani was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jerry Flowers for a reported $210,000 and made his pro debut that summer with the Billings Mustangs, going 3-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 13 starts. Beginning 2012 with the Bakersfield Blaze, he was 5-1 with a 1.11 ERA in 10 starts before being promoted to the AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos. For Pensacola, he continued to put up impressive numbers, going 5-3 with a 2.12 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 16 outings. This earned him a September call-up to the majors, and he made his big league debut on September 9th against the Houston Astros. In 3 innings of relief work, he allowed only 1 hit, a home run to Tyler Greene, while striking out 5. He made two more appearances out of the bullpen for the Reds that September, ending up with a 1.80 ERA and 9 strikeouts in 5 innings.
Cingrani headed into the 2013 season with an outside chance to make the Reds' starting rotation out of spring training, but in the end he was sent to the AAA Louisville Bats to start the year. He gave up only 3 hits and no runs in 14 1/3 innings in his first three starts for Louisville, prompting the Reds to bring him up. He made his first major league start on April 18th, facing another top prospect in Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. Tony got the best of that duel, earning his first big league victory as the Reds routed the Fish, 11-1. He pitched 5 innings, giving up one run on 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out 8; the only blemish on his sheet was a solo homer by Justin Ruggiano. He had a memorable start on April 28th, facing the Washington Nationals. Not only did he pitch 6 scoreless innings, but he collected his first career hit, a single off Ross Detwiler in the 2nd inning. He also struck out a career-high 11 batters, including 4 in the 4th inning. That inning started when Denard Span reached on a dropped third strike by C Corky Miller, but, undeterred, Tony struck out Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche in succession to end the inning. He was the 5th pitcher in Reds history to strike out four opponents in one inning and was credited with the 5-2 win. He had a very solid rookie season overall, going 7-4, 2.92 in 23 games, including 18 starts. He pitched 104 2/3 innings and struck out 120 opponents.
Things did not go as well for Tony during his sophomore season in 2014. He pitched only 13 times for the Reds, including 11 starts, and ended up at 2-8, 4.55. In 2015, with a number of young starting pitchers in their system, the Reds decided to move Cingrani to the bullpen, where they perceived they had a greater need, as their roster of pitchers was shaky behind All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman. They felt that with his outstanding fastball and ability to pitch multiple innings, Cingrani could play a very useful role there. Indeed, he started the season very well, with a 2.08 ERA over his first 11 appearances, although he did not have any decisions and sometimes went long stretches between two appearances. However, he went on the disabled list with a shoulder strain in mid-June, and it was all downhill from there. He was 0-3, 3.47 in 24 games at the time of the injury, then he came back on July 22nd to make a spot start in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs, but gave up 5 runs in 2 2/3 innings although he escaped with a no decision. He was not back until September, by the time the Reds were going with all-rookie starting rotation while he was in the bullpen. He pitched 10 times that month, all of those being stints of one inning or less, and by giving up 7 runs, he bumped his season's ERA to 5.67 while leaving the team's management wondering what his role would be going forward.