Johnny Cueto threw 60 pitches of live batting practice to Reds teammate this morning and afterward pronounced himself “ready” to come off the disabled list following nearly three months on the sidelines with a lat injury.
As for whether he’ll resume starting or move to the bullpen, Cueto told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
I don’t know. It depends on what they’re going to do–the front office, the GM. They’re all going to sit down together. I don’t know what they’re going to do. I feel good. I feel ready. That’s their problem now. I’ll do whatever they want.
Tony Cingrani leaving last night’s game with more back problems could increase Cueto’s odds of stepping back into the rotation and all 158 of his career appearances for the Reds have come as a starter.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.