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Dodgers: Keeping Cingrani Over Watson Proves Fruitful



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.

Analysis

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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