Giants’ right-hander Johnny Cueto landed on the 10-day disabled list with blister-related issues, the team announced Saturday. Cueto was removed from his start on Friday after just four innings and is expected to miss two starts while he rehabs painful spots on his fingers. He was replaced by returning ace Madison Bumgarner, who resumed his spot in the rotation for the first time since his dirt bike accident in mid-April.
Following Friday’s 5-4 win over the Padres, Cueto told reporters that he felt hot spots on three fingers of his right hand, which affected his ability to grip the ball and led to his shortest start since 2015. He attributed the blister-like spots to a change in the baseball itself, a claim that was later backed up by manager Bruce Bochy prior to Saturday’s game.
“I feel the ball tight,” Cueto said in a postgame interview (via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle). “This is the first time I’ve had blisters in my career.”
He may be on to something there. Cueto, 31, is 6-7 in 19 starts this season with a 4.59 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 115 2/3 innings. He’s nearly doubled the walk per nine innings mark he set in 2016 and his 4.00+ ERA is the highest it’s been since his rookie season in 2008. Friday’s abbreviated start was just the latest in a string of rough outings, totaling 12 runs, 13 walks and 10 strikeouts over his last three starts and 15 innings.