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Brad's Blog - 08/21/13

Tony Cingrani says he will make his next scheduled start, after being pulled in the 4th inning last night due to a lower back strain. "It's not that bad," the lefty said in post game. The concern is he also said his back has been hurting for a couple weeks now and he didn't want to say anything.

So how bad is it? Can the Reds survive the rest of the season without Cingrani? The lanky 24-year-old  has gone 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 starts. It doesn't look like Johnny Cueto is coming to the rescue like Tony did when Johnny went down.  "They showed basically about 75 percent of the strain is healed," athletic trainer Paul Lessard told of Cueto. "He's going to continue to do the strengthening stuff for another week and then we'll re-scan him again and see if that 25 percent has closed up." Cueto, 27, is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this season. Johnny will have nowhere to go for rehab. I don't think he's coming back this year.

If Cingrani is forced to the disabled list, Greg Reynolds may fill Tony's spot. He's 12-3 with a 2.42 ERA for Triple-A Louisville after a complete game win Tuesday. But the 28-year-old right-hander is 5-9 with a 7.55 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in the majors (99 innings).

Can the Reds survive Tony going down for awhile? Probably. They've survived quite bit this year. Cueto down. Marshall down. Masset down. Ludwick down. Heisey down. With all that, Reds are down 3 1/2 games to the Pirates in the Central. They're up 5 games on Arizona for the last playoff spot. Tony's not down yet. I think they'll survive even if he is.


(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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