Reds push back Johnny Cueto’s next start for “extra rest”

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Reds ace Johnny Cueto has made four starts since returning from a disabled list stint for elbow soreness and now the team is pushing back his next turn in the rotation from Tuesday to Friday.

Triple-A call-up Josh Smith will be making his MLB debut in Cueto’s place Tuesday, suggesting it wasn’t something the Reds had planned all along, and Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that a team spokesperson gave no information about whether Cueto is dealing with an injury.

Cueto has been his usual self this season with a 2.98 ERA and 86/16 K/BB ratio in 91 innings, including a 2.84 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list. As an impending free agent almost certain to sign for more than $100 million wherever he winds up this offseason Cueto has plenty of reason to play things safe health-wise for a 32-36 team.