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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.