September 14, 2011

Johnny Cueto leaves game with strained right lat

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Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto has enjoyed great success this season with his reworked delivery, registering a superb 2.31 ERA across 156 innings.

But that might be where his numbers finish up.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the 25-year-old right-hander had to be removed from Wednesday’s game against the Cubs after suffering a strained right lat in the middle of the fourth inning.

Cueto wound up throwing 3 2/3 scoreless frames, fanning two Cubs batters while scattering three hits.

A strained lat muscle is not a major injury and Cueto seemed to be in good spirits as he was exiting the field, but he’s likely to need over 10 days of recovery time and the regular season schedule wraps up this year on September 28 — exactly two weeks from tonight.

The Reds, currently 14 1/2 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central and 12 1/2 games back of the Braves in the Wild Card, have nothing to gain from rushing Cueto back. And they won’t rush him back.