Cueto out till WS; Leake to pitch game 4
The mystery is finally solved: Mike Leake will pitch in today’s game.
As you know, Leake didn’t make the post-season roster, so to make room for him, the Reds had to take someone off the roster. It is apparently not as easy as it is during the regular season, or else they would have sent down Miguel Cairo in short order and settled this matter days ago.
Rather, replacing someone on the post-season roster takes special approval from MLB. You have to replace one player with the same type of player (pitcher for pitcher, for example) and apparently you have to replace the specific guy who’s injured (no pretending J.J. Hoover is the one who needs to be DLed, for example).
There are further implications for Cueto as well. Since he’s been taken off the NLDS roster, he’s ineligible for the NLCS roster. The earliest we can get him back is the World Series.
After the game last night, the Reds weren’t ready to say this was the plan, but everyone seemed to know it was going to happen anyway. The second-most likely result would have been to have Mat Latos pitch on short rest again, but going with that approach would have left the Reds in a spot for game 5, if it should come to that.
By bringing Leake in to pitch today, they’ll have Latos for tomorrow if needed. If not needed (fingers crossed), Latos should be good to kick off the next series.
If Leake can come close to reproducing his start against the Giants from back in June, things could turn out nicely.
To refresh everybody’s memory, the last time Leake faced the Giants, he had the best start of his career, going all 9 innings for his first complete game. He allowed 1 run on 9 hits and 1 walk (http://www.red-hot-mama.com/2012/06/30/game-76-reds-5-giants-1/).
It wouldn’t be bad for the Reds to score early like they did in that game. And if Leake wants to hit another home run, I doubt anyone would complain!