While Johnny Cueto didn’t rule out the possibility of returning last week, he confirmed to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com today that he will indeed miss the rest of the season with a strained right lat muscle.
Cueto was removed from his start last Wednesday against the Cubs due to the injury.
“I’m not throwing. I think I’m done,” Cueto said. “I talked to the doctor and said I wanted to throw. He said, ‘No.’ OK, I won’t. I feel good. No pain, no nothing. I’m great.”
Thanks to a revamped delivery reminiscent of Luis Tiant, the 25-year-old right-hander will finish the season with a 9-5 record to go along with a 2.35 ERA and 104/47 K/BB ratio over 24 starts. However, he only has 156 innings pitched, which means he will not qualify for the ERA title. Dodgers’ southpaw Clayton Kershaw currently ranks first in the NL with a 2.30 ERA over 218 2/3 innings.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.