The Reds will be trying for a three-game sweep of the Cardinals this evening at Great American Ball Park, but they’ll have to get it done without their ace.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports, right-hander Johnny Cueto has been scratched from his scheduled turn in the starting rotation due to a blister on his throwing hand. Homer Bailey will hop ahead one spot and take the mound in his place.
Cueto will try again Tuesday vs. the Diamondbacks.
The 26-year-old Dominican right-hander has posted a spectacular 2.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through 18 starts this season for the first-place Reds, fanning 91 batters and walking 27 across 120 1/3 innings. He owns a 3.61 career ERA and a 1.27 career WHIP.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.