Johnny Cueto scratched from rehab start with oblique injury

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Johnny Cueto’s recovery from a strained lat muscle is on hold after the Reds right-hander complained of oblique muscle soreness before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A today.

Cueto had to exit his NLDS start against the Giants in the first inning with an oblique injury, so while the setback isn’t related to his arm it’s still worrisome.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Cueto will be examined further Monday, so at the very least his rehab timetable has been pushed back a week or so and Tony Cingrani can get a little more comfortable in the Reds’ rotation.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.