Dodgers: Keeping Cingrani Over Watson Proves Fruitful

Oct 29, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Cingrani throws a pitch against the Houston Astros in the 7th inning in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers swung a few trades last season in an effort to revitalize their bullpen down the stretch. In that process, they grabbed a pair of Tony’s in the form of Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson. They picked up the two left-handed relievers in trades with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

The Dodgers’ front office could not have asked for better results than what the dup produced in their half-season with Los Angeles. Cingrani was at a 5.40 earned run average in Cincinnati allowing 14 runs in 23 innings of work. He then came over to Los Angeles, where he pitched to a pristine 2.79 era over 19+ innings. Watson was about the same. He was having a very average season in Pittsburgh, but the move to the Dodgers energized his game. Both good left-handers, and both guys that many though Los Angeles would keep around. They did not.

The Dodgers ultimately have Cingrani under control until 2020 when he can become a free agent, so it was obvious he would stay on. Watson became a free agent at the end of the 2017 campaign, and ultimately signed a deal with San Francisco on a $9 million deal. With Watson’s experience as a closer and his overall dominance, most fans probably had much more of a desire to retain him than Cingrani.

My how the tables have turned. Tony Cingrani has already pitched in six of the Dodgers’ ten games. In that time, he has thrown a total of 4.2 innings and has yet to allow a single run. Granted it’s a small sample size, but Watson is at about the same pace. He has pitched in 5.2 innings without allowing a run.


What it comes down to is cost, and Cingrani is the cheapest option of the two at this point. Not by a whole lot, but cheaper nonetheless. It remains to be seen how things will play out, but his numbers so far are encouraging. Not only has Congrani not allowed a run, he has struck out six without a walk as well. Not to mention he has allowed just two hits all season.

It will be interesting to compare the two when the season comes to an end.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.


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  1. And acquiring Alexander rather than keeping Avilan or Watson appears to have been a mistake. But it’s early.

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