Tony Cingrani is coming off of a season with the Cincinnati Reds where he had a 4.14 ERA in 63.0 innings. It was his lowest ERA since his rookie season when he dominated as a starter, posting a 2.92 ERA over 104.2 innings pitched.

The league has since caught up to the left hander, who has struggled to find a second pitch to keep opposing hitters honest. Part of that has been his struggles with the strikezone. After walking 3.7 batters per 9 innings pitched his rookie year, that number had jumped up to 5.0, 6.8 and 5.3 over the last three seasons. Control has certainly played a role in his struggles, but it’s the lack of a second offering that’s been the big problem.

Looking at the data over at Brooks Baseball here is the fastball usage by Cingrani by season: 82%, 74%, 86% and 87%. He’s leaned heavily on his fastball than probably any other pitcher in baseball, but if not, it’s got to be close. In 2014 he used his fastball the least often, going with a slider and change up 13% of the time each. The change up has been used less than 4% of the time each of the last two years and his slider has dropped to 12% in 2015 and down to 9% in 2016.

This offseason Tony Cingrani has gone out to the state of Washington to join up with Driveline Baseball to try and figure something out. If you’ve heard that name before, you should have. They are at the forefront of studying pitching, mechanics, adding velcoity – all kinds of stuff. Dan Straily spent last offseason with them. Trevor Bauer of the Indians has been with them for years. They are a big proponent of the weighted baseball throwing program. Pretty much, I love what they are doing.

Earlier today Driveline tweeted out this video of Tony Cingrani and a comparison of a good and bad cutter thrown in his session:

That tweet was followed up by video of the two cutters:

 

Then later the Driveline Baseball account retweeted this video showing the difference between the fastball and cutter of the Reds left handed reliever:

If Tony Cingrani can develop a good cutter to go with his fastball, and also throw a few more strikes, it would be incredibly beneficial and go a long way to helping the Cincinnati bullpen that had struggles finding reliable relief pitching for most of the season in 2016.