Reds rookie southpaw Tony Cingrani was forced to exit Tuesday's start against the Diamondbacks in the top of the fourth inning with an apparent lower back strain.
Cingrani allowed one run on two hits and a walk before being lifted with two outs in favor of right-hander Alfredo Simon.
It is too early to determine if and how long the injury will keep the 24-year-old out of the rotation. However, if Cingrani is forced to miss a turn in the rotation, or worse, land on the 15-day disabled list, it would certainly be a big blow to the Reds.
Cincinnati is already making due without ace Johnny Cueto and it doesn't have many options for a replacement at Triple-A Louisville. Greg Reynolds, who was the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, is probably the best candidate to replace Cingrani if it comes to that. Reynolds is 12-3 with the Bats this season.
Replicating Cingrani's productivity won't be an easy task, though. The Rice product has posted a 6-2 record, 2.76 ERA and 1.06 WHIP at the major league level in 2013.
Update: Cingrani doesn't expect to miss any time due to the injury and said he was removed from the game for precautionary reasons.