Johnny Cueto to return from disabled list Sunday, Tony Cingrani could stay in bullpen

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The Reds will activate right-hander Johnny Cueto from the disabled list to start tomorrow against the Brewers, reports Trent C. Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Cueto was placed on the disabled list on June 1 with a lat strain, so he’ll only miss the minimum 15 days. While he didn’t make a minor league rehab start, he made it through a couple of bullpen sessions this week without any issues.

Cueto has had two stints on the disabled list this year due to the lat issue, but he’s been excellent when on the mound, posting a 2.17 ERA and 34/13 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings over six starts. The Reds are surely hoping that the latest break will take care of the problem for good.

While the assumption has been that left-hander Tony Cingrani would head back to Triple-A Louisville when Cueto is ready to return, Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted today that they could keep him around in the bullpen. It could be a matter of necessity at the moment, as both Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton are on the disabled list.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.