After being acquired at the trade deadline in 2017, left-handed relief pitcher Tony Cingrani became an essential part of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen during their World Series run.
Cingrani was expected to take on an even bigger role in 2018, but his season was cut short due to a left shoulder injury that forced him to miss almost the entire second half and postseason. Cingrani was deemed healthy as Spring Training began this year.
That changed after a few Cactus League appearances as the shoulder again became an issue. Cingrani was shut down completely for a few weeks to let it heal and started the season on the 10-day injured list.
Cingani’s eventually began throwing at the beginning of May and joined High-A Rancho Cucamonga for a rehab assignment. He then was assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as the rehab process continued.
That’s now come to a halt as the 29-year-old suffered a setback and will have an MRI on his throwing shoulder, via Jake Crouse of MLB.com:
“There was a little bit of pain in the shoulder,” Roberts said, “so we’re going to kind of reassess, and he’s going to get in and see our doctors and we’ll see in the next couple of days.”
In eight games (seven with Oklahoma City), Cingrani pitched to a 2.45 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with six strikeouts and four walks in 7.1 innings.
With him being shut down again, Cingrani will not be seeing a Major League mound anytime soon, perhaps for even the entirety of the 2019 season if it is determined that he needs surgery to fix the issue.
This is obviously a tough break for the Dodgers considering the bullpen has been their biggest weakness so far this season. Fellow left-handers Scott Alexander and Caleb Ferguson have both struggled at times, though the recent addition of Julio Urias to the relief corps has been a boon.
If Cingrani is forced to undergo season-ending surgery, it would not be surprising to see the Dodgers target a left-handed reliever before the trade deadline in July. If the MRI doesn’t reveal any structural damage, then getting Cingrani back sometime in the second half could be that left-handed bullpen acquisition for Los Angeles.