Rick Bozich on Tony Cingrani's return to the Bats -- and the future for U of L baseball and former Card Terrence Williams.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Only three rookie pitchers in the National League have struck out more hitters than Tony Cingrani this season. He struck out 28 guys and walked four in his first three starts with the Cincinnati Reds.
But all of the Reds' starting pitchers are healthy again. And Cincinnati management wants Cingrani to improve his ability to change speeds and baffle hitters with breaking balls. He needs to cut back on giving up home runs.
Baseball fans in Louisville will benefit from that decision. Cingrani returns to Louisville Slugger Field to pitch for the Bats against Pawtucket tonight at 6:35.
In his first three 2013 starts for the Bats, Cingrani was as close to unhittable as a pitcher can be – 26 strikeouts with three hits and two walks in 14 1/3 innings. Those numbers make Justin Verlander blush.
*What effect will the University of Louisville's jarring 3-2 loss to Connecticut in 12 innings during the Cards' first game in the Big East baseball tournament have on the Cardinals' post-season future?
The loss pushed the Cards from No. 13 to 16 in the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) numbers. After winning 16 straight games, coach Dan McDonnell's team still figures to host a four-team NCAA Tournament regional next weekend.
But Aaron Fitt of Baseball America magazine said the Cards will have to make a deep run out of the losers' bracket to maintain a chance to earn one of the top eight national seeds. Those are the eight teams that are also guaranteed to host a super regional the following weekend if they survive the first weekend of competition.
This is what Fitt wrote today:
"The Cardinals are vying for a national seed, and they'll need a strong run through the loser's bracket to beat out teams like Indiana, UCLA, Oregon or maybe Mississippi State for the eighth national seed."
*Terrence Williams' future remains on hold. Prosecutors in King County Washington decided they needed more time to investigate charges that Williams, the former U of L star, pointed a handgun at the mother of Williams' 10-year-old son during an incident that occurred Sunday in the Seattle area.
According to the Seattle Times, the prosecutor's office decided to continue the investigation and make a decision at a later date. (Here is a link to that story.)
The New Jersey Nets drafted Williams as a lottery pick in 2009. He was out of the NBA by the beginning of last season and played most of the year in China. But he earned a spot with Boston for the final 24 games and was signed to a non-guaranteed contract for $948,000 for next season. Now his future depends on what happens with this situation in Seattle.
The Boston Globe is currently conducting an unscientific on-line poll of readers. The newspaper is asking if the team should keep Williams or replace him. (The Globe is asking readers to vote on every current Celtics' player -- including Rajon Rondo and Courtney Lee.)
As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 2,800 people had voted and nearly 75 percent want Williams replaced.