Some of us are old enough to remember John Roper's major league debut against the Colorado Rockies on May 16, 1993. Roper got the win, after the Reds spotted him a 14-0 lead through five innings
, and upon solicitation for a comment after the game he claimed that he'd faced tougher lineups in Triple-A.
While this was totally hilarious at the time, I don't think Roper's comment was true. Even though Andres Galarraga didn't play that game for the Rockies, the lineup still had Eric Young (.355 OBP and 42 steals that year), Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, and Charlie Hayes in his best offensive season.
However, if Cingrani faces the Marlins on Thursday, I have no doubt that he will have faced tougher lineups in Double A, let alone Triple A, than that pitiful excuse for a baseball team fielded by that even-more-pitiful excuse for an owner, Jeffrey Loria. I mean look at this feckless offense
. Giancarlo Stanton (who isn't hitting like Giancarlo Stanton), Justin Ruggiano, and otherwise a bunch of dreck.
I guess anything could happen, but I like the way this is setting up for him. Start #1 against the Double-A Marlins, Start #2 against the weak hitting Cubs, and then he gets to go into a start against the Nats with a bunch of confidence. If Cueto can come back in a reasonable amount of time, maybe this will be a blessing in disguise. Cingrani can show the brass he belongs in the majors, Leake or Arroyo can get pushed into middle relief, and all will be right with the world.
*one interesting note for those who remember that '93 season. Roper's win capped off a 7-game win streak for the Reds, and the apex of Tony Perez's managerial career. That 7-game win streak would be followed by a 5-game losing streak, and soon after that Jim Bowden would replace Doggie with Davey Johnson in the most classless of fashions.