The Cubs signed Tony Cingrani to a minor league contract earlier this week, per an announcement from the Lexington Legends of the Atlantic League. The southpaw had been pitching for the independent club since May.
Cingrani appeared in the big leagues every year from 2012-18. He tossed 104 2/3 innings of 2.92 ERA/3.31 SIERA ball for the Reds in 2013 but struggled the following season before moving to the bullpen by 2015. Cingrani issued far too many walks over his first couple seasons as a reliever but eventually dialed in his control. Between 2017-18, he tossed 65 1/3 innings of 4.41 ERA ball between the Reds and Dodgers, but his lofty 32.5% strikeout rate and tiny 6.6% walk percentage suggested additional upside.
Unfortunately, Cingrani required season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder before he threw a pitch in 2019. While he reportedly drew interest late in the 2019-20 offseason, he ultimately didn’t wind up signing anywhere during the lost minor league campaign. After a two-month stint in indie ball, Cingrani has worked his way back into the affiliated ranks. He has been assigned to Triple-A Iowa, where he’ll be on hand as lefty relief depth.