Blog Entry

Cueto likely to start season on DL

Posted on: March 21, 2011 4:04 pm
 

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto was shut down for the next week-to-10 days and will likely start the season on the disabled list, meaning Mike Leake's first minor-league start will have to wait.

Johnny CuetoThe Reds announced that Cueto has mild inflammation on his right shoulder and will stay at the team's training facility in Goodyear, Ariz., when the team leaves for Cincinnati next week.

"Everything structurally is fine," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "The recommendation from Dr. [Timothy] Kremchek is to shut him down for a week or so and give it a chance to get him back on a throwing program."

The team expects him to need at least two weeks.

Another Reds starter, Bronson Arroyo, is dealing with the flu, so he's been bumped back a start, as well. That leaves the rotation as Edinson Volquez, Homer Bailey, Arroyo, Travis Wood and Leake.

There had been a battle between Wood and Leake for the final spot -- just as there was last spring. Last spring Leake, the 2009 first-rounder, won the spot out of spring, bypassing the minor leagues altogether. Leake had a fantastic first half of the season (6-1, 3.53 ERA), but then struggled and fought shoulder fatigue and was finally put not he disabled list. He finished the season 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA.

With Leake struggling, the Reds called up the left-handed Wood, who took a perfect game into the ninth at Philadelphia in his third career start. Wood finished the season 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 starts.

Wood was winning the spring battle, going 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in four starts. Leake is 1-0 with a 6.23 in four games and three starts. However, in his last appearance, he went four scoreless innings against the Indians.

Cincinnati's pitching depth has been praised all spring, and like most others in the National League Central, it's being put to the test early.

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