April 15, 2013

Cueto to miss at least 3 starts; reliever Freeman called up

The right lat muscle.

The right lat muscle.

Information about Johnny Cueto’s injury is finally known. He has a strained right lat muscle and will miss at least 3 starts after being placed on the 15-day disabled list.

To take his spot, the Cincinnati Reds moved Ryan Ludwick to the 60-day disabled list and called up right-handed reliever Justin Freeman. Freeman, a reliever, is likely intended to provide some help to an overworked bullpen until it’s Cueto’s next time to start, at which point Tony Cingrani will be called up.

Cueto’s injury is similar to one that had him miss his final 4 starts of 2011, but he’s optimistic he won’t miss that much time.

“I don’t think this is going to affect me at all,” Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera. “I think, God willing, I’ll be better in five-six days and I’ll be able to start throwing.”

Being better in 5-6 days would be awesome, but is highly unlikely. Even if he were, there’s no way the Reds rush him back. The season is way too early to take an unnecessary risk like that.

Still, Cueto’s a hard pitcher to replace. The sooner he comes back, the better the team is.

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