CINCINNATI -- Head trainer Paul Lessard said Wednesday that Reds starter Tony Cingrani was feeling much better less than 24 hours after exiting Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with a lower back strain. However, Wednesday was an easy day for Cingrani, who visited a doctor and spent the day getting treatment.
"We'll start bumping it up tomorrow," Lessard said. "He'll throw tomorrow and see how he feels. Ideally, we'll make sure he stays comfortable and loose and is able to throw. If he doesn't feel anything, he'll be able to make his next start."
Cingrani's biggest test will come Friday, when he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session.
"That will be more of a telltale sign than anything," Lessard said.
In the rotation to replace the injured Johnny Cueto, Cingrani has been dealing with the issue in his lower back for a couple weeks, but he didn't disclose that to manager Dusty Baker or trainers until after he gave up a home run, a walk and a double with one out in the fourth inning against the D-backs. Following the game, which Cingrani started by retiring the first 10 batters he faced, the 24-year-old left-hander had no doubts that he would be able to make his next start against the Brewers on Sunday.
Should he not be ready by then, Greg Reynolds, who also pitched for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday, is a potential replacement. He was previously called up to start the second game of Cincinnati's doubleheader in San Francisco on July 23, when he allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings. In 23 games (21 starts) for Louisville this season, Reynolds is 12-3 with a 2.42 ERA, including a two-hit shutout on June 21.
As the Reds wait to know more about Cingrani's status, Baker was asked if the Reds have many replacement options available.
"Well, not really," Baker said. "We'll just pray that he gets better and it's not too serious, not too bad."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.