Johnny Cueto hasn’t pitched since May 19 due to stiffness in his right elbow, but he made it through a bullpen session on Sunday morning without issue and has been cleared to return to the Reds’ starting rotation Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
“I feel like I lost a month. I feel like it’s been forever,” Cueto told the Cincinnati Enquirer, via interpreter Tomas Vera. “Thank God it was only a little thing that happened, I’m fine and I’m good to go.”
Cueto has posted a 3.03 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 60/12 K/BB ratio in 65 1/3 innings this season for the Reds. If his health cooperates, the 29-year-old impending free agent will be one of the biggest chips on this year’s trade market.
Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
While the Cubs keep their eye on the pitching market as they mull a buyer’s approach for the trade deadline, one of their biggest targets heading into June is play-anywhere hitter Ben Zobrist of the Oakland Athletics, according to multiple sources.
Zobrist is capable of playing all over the diamond, so he’s a fit for just about every contending team. But the 34-year-old has a direct connection to Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who managed Zobrist when he was with the Rays, and Wittenmyer notes that Chicago actually tried to acquire Zobrist over the winter.
If the A’s go into early sell mode — their record right now is 19-33 — this could come together quickly.
Zobrist is scheduled to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2015 World Series.
Bryce Harper was scratched from the Nationals’ starting lineup Saturday due to a sore back, but it’s no big deal. Here is Washington’s batting order for Sunday’s series finale in Cincinnati …
Harper, 22, owns an absurd 1.201 OPS with 18 home runs and 43 RBI through 48 games this season.
In case you missed it, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel twirled a gem Saturday against the White Sox …
Keuchel now has a ridiculous 1.76 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 81 2/3 innings this season. He is legit.