Tag:Johnny Cueto
Posted on: August 19, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 7:20 pm

Concussion costs LaRue rest of season

Jason LaRue
Johnny Cueto lost one start after being suspended for kicking people during a fight. Meanwhile, one of the people he kicked, Jason LaRue, has lost the rest of his season.

It was a footnote to the story of the Cardinals acquiring Pedro Feliz on Thursday, but the roster spot for him was opened when LaRue was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. The catcher suffered a concussion last week during a brawl with the Reds, and the Cardinals have said they're shutting him down for the season because he has shown no sign of recovery.

"We have spoken with a lot of different medical experts on this," general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com. "It is obviously one that is not as clear-cut as you might have with an elbow or knee injury. There are a lot of unknowns.

"Given the way he is feeling and reacting, we really felt it was in his best interest not to have him feel like there is pressure to come back."

LaRue was a backup, and wasn't going to be the difference in whether the Cardinals make the playoffs. But a concussion is serious stuff. And what if it had been Albert Pujols or Adam Wainwright who had been lost for the season?

One thing is for sure: It's a good thing for Cueto that he doesn't currently project to start in the September 3-5 series in St. Louis. Dusty Baker would be crazy to send him to the plate, because there's a good chance he'd wind up with a fastball in his ear -- there's a system of baseball justice that doesn't come from the commissioner's office.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 8:46 pm

Cardinals' LaRue to DL with post-fight concussion

Jason LaRue
Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue, who was kicked in the head by Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto during a fight between the teams on Tuesday night, is going on the disabled list as symptoms of a concussion linger. The Cardinals made the announcement during their game Friday night.

Outfielder Nick Stavinoha was called up from Triple-A Memphis. The Cardinals had already called up a third catcher, Steven Hill, on Wednesday.

Cueto is serving a seven-game suspension for kicking several people while pinned against the backstop during the scrum. LaRue had to have stitches in his lip and also suffered seriously bruised ribs, and pitcher Chris Carpenter was left with scratches on his back from Cueto's cleats.

Carpenter, who was fined in the incident, spoke out Friday about Cueto's actions.

“He came in there with intent to do something because he came in from the back side when you look at it," he said, according to FoxSportsMidwest.com. "I was in the same position. I was in a worse position. I had people grabbing on top of me and holding me and I didn’t start kicking people and doing all that stuff.

“All this stuff that happened – the yelling, the pushing, the fighting and everything else – there was nobody throwing punches. There was nobody doing any of that. I don’t care how scared you are, I don’t care what the deal is. Whatever excuse you have, you don’t start doing that. If you did that on the street, he would end up being…That’s serious stuff.”

It's been a bad year in baseball for concussions, an injury whose recovery is impossible to predict. Mets outfielder Jason Bay is out indefinitely with a concussion, as is Twins star first baseman Justin Morneau.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm

Cueto won't appeal; Bailey off DL

Homer Bailey
Reds starter Johnny Cueto won't appeal his seven-game suspension stemming from this week's fight against the Cardinals, and Homer Baily will come off the disabled list to take his scheduled start Sunday against the Marlins.

Manager Dusty Baker seemed to be sending a message through comments to reporters that Cueto should not regard the suspension as a vacation.

"With our pitching situation, the way things line up, it will be better if he misses one start and he'll have one extra day from [when] ordinarily he would start," Baker said. "So maybe this will make him even better and stronger. He can train, train and more train."

Bailey (pictured being greeted by Mister Redlegs), the promising right-hander whose career has gotten off the a frustrating start, has been on the disabled list since late May with shoulder inflammation. He has looked good in four rehab appearances (three starts), going 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA.

Cueto's suspension will buy struggling rookie Mike Leake another start Saturday after a bad stretch had the Reds considering taking him out of the rotation. For a while it looked like Bailey would have to come back from the DL as a reliever, then it looked like the Reds were lining him up to replace Leake. The Reds will be watching both Leake and Bailey closely this weekend.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Suspensions for Reds-Cardinals brawl handed down

The punishments for the Cardinals-Reds brawl on Tuesday have been meted out, according to Victor Rojas, an Angels TV broadcaster formerly of ESPN.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto has been suspended seven games, a harsh punishment but not entirely undeserving as Cueto was backed up against the home plate backstop, kicking willy-nilly . Jason LaRue came down with a concussion and Chris Carpenter suffered scratches on his back.

Managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker, who had choice words for each other and were ejected after a shouting match, were dinged two games apiece. The managers and Cueto were also fined along with Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips, Chris Carpenter and Russ Springer.

Molina and Phillips were the instigators of the brawl after Phillips came to the plate in the bottom first. Philips had previously referred to the Cardinals as "little bitches ," which Molina took exception to and let Phillips know about it. The two jawed nose-to-nose before the fracas got out of hand.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 6:41 pm

Cardinals take control of NL Central

So what did we learn from the Brandon Phillips comments about the Cardinals? Just because you're not wrong doesn't make you right.

Phillips fired up the Cardinals by calling them "little bitches." After sweeping the Reds at Great American Ball Park to retake the National League Central lead, the Cardinals are the division's big bitches.

The Cardinals not only swept the Reds -- they outscored them 21-8 and outhit them 35-18. It just wasn't close. It also showed the Cardinals will be a tough out in a short series with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia lined up -- just as the Reds, who managed just nine hits against those three in the series. It could be the story of the team's series, pre-little bitches and post-little bitches with Aug. 9, 2010 being the turning point of the season.

More than anything, it seems Phillips, who was 2 for 14 in the series, awoke a Cardinals team that had played pretty flat for much of the season, giving them a common enemy.

Sure, Tony La Russa proved Phillips' point about whining by complaining to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, but the Reds' inability to step up to the plate exposed them as an also-ran in this race.

"Friday is really going to tell the tale," Reds starter Bronson Arroyo told reporters including the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay on Wednesday. "We haven't had a whole lot of big slides this year, where we lose four, five, six in a  row. Losing three to these guys takes a lot out of you physically and mentally because it was so hot, and having to grind at-bats against three of the best starters in the National League. We'll try to get off to a good start against the Marlins. It makes it a lot easier to forget about it if you win one on Friday."

Dusty Baker Too bad for the Reds they face the Marlins Josh Johnson and his 1.97 ERA on Friday.

After the three-game series against the Marlins, the Reds hit the road on a nine-game West Coast swing through Arizona before going to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's one of three remaining trips west for the Reds, who go to St. Louis and Colorado in the first week of September and then to San Diego at the end of September. The Reds are 3-3 in the Pacific time zone this season. The Reds haven't won in Los Angeles since 2005 and since 2006 they are 25-49 in the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

The Cardinals' don't have a game west of Houston remaining on their schedule.

The Reds are just a half-game out of the wild card behind the Giants and a half-game ahead of the Phillies.

Both teams will likely see some suspensions, including Reds starter Johnny Cueto and possibly third baseman Scott Rolen.

As for Phillips?

"Man, I'll tell you this," Phillips told reporters after the game. "We lost. It's just how it is. They did their job and we didn't do ours. That's basically it. What happened, happened. We look forward to the Florida Marlins coming in."

Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but he didn't call the Marlins meanies.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2010 12:55 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 2:41 pm

The Day After in Cincinnati

Yadier Molina
It's probably not ideal that the Cardinals and Reds have a day game Wednesday just a few hours after their bench-clearing fight, but on the other hand it might be good that they can get the game in before the disciplinary hammer comes down.

There are surely suspensions and fines on the way, but Reds manager Dusty Baker didn't want to speculate on who would be punished and how severely. Here's what he had to say in his pregame session with reporters.

"Hey man, I don't think it's even fair to print or anticipate or even say about losing guys. That's kind of like setting the sentence before somebody went to trial. It's like 'how many years will you get in jail?' Who says you will get to jail? I just hope the guys up there realize the tension, the pressure and background. You also can't just go on what you see on the video because you don't know what was said or what was done. You have to beware of the first man's testimony until the second man comes forward. The first man always sounds innocent until the second man testifies."

"Sometimes you know they claim no punches were thrown. There were words that created punches to be thrown. You know what I mean? Not that what happened was right on our side or what was said was right. There's always a cause and effect on every situation almost. In our hearts that thing was over, until some people started talking."

Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue, who says he was kicked during the brawl and has a concussion, showed up on the pregame TV show sporting a cut lip, reportedly dropped an F-bomb, and said "it's a shame Cueto doesn't have a brain."

Brandon Phillips did not try to tap catcher Yadier Molina's shin guards with his bat -- the action that set off the scrum Tuesday -- when he came to the plate Wednesday, but it appeared the home-plate umpire instructed him not to.

Should be a tense few hours at Great American Ball Park.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: A Reds official told the Cincinnati Enquirer that video of the incident is being sent to the league office, and it won't arrive until Thursday, so they don't expect to hear anything on discipline until at least then.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: August 11, 2010 10:45 am

Cardinals call up catcher to replace LaRue

Jason LaRue
Fallout should be trickling in today from Tuesday's bench-clearing incident between the Cardinals and Reds, as we wait to see who's hurt, who will be disciplined and who will be next to say something stupid.

Of immediate concern for the Cardinals was finding someone to step in for catcher Jason LaRue, whom the Cardinals say suffered a slight concussion and a rib injury when he was kicked by Reds starter Johnny Cueto.

"We're facing an issue with Jason," St. Louis manager La Russa said after the game. "He got clobbered in the head with their starting pitcher kicking. So he has a slight concussion and he has some facial tears there ... We'll see how that's all handled."

In the short term, it will be handled by calling up Double-A catcher Steven Hill to back up Yadier Molina. Hill, 25, is batting .280 with 22 homers and 86 RBI for Springfield.

LaRue did not go on the disabled list. To make room for Hill, right-hander Jeff Suppan, acquired by the Cardinals June 14 after being released by the Brewers, was placed on the disabled list with a groin injury. Suppan felt tightness while running the day after his Sunday start was rained out. The move is retroactive to August 1.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 12:49 am

Cardinals accuse Cueto of hurting 2 players

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said backup catcher Jason LaRue suffered a concussion in Tuesday's fracas in Cincinnati.

La Russa said LaRue suffered the concussion at the feet of Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who kicked outward when he was backed up to the backstop during the near-brawl.

"I've got Cueto kicking me in the back. It's super unprofessional. I don't know where he learned how to fight," Cardinals pitcher said Chris Carpenter, who claimed he ended up with scratches on his back.

Cueto said he was just trying to escape after being pinned against the wall.

"When 15 people get over you, you get scared," he said after the game, using catcher Ramon Hernandez as a translator. "I did get nervous, a lot. I put my feet up, trying to get out of the way. I was trying to get up. My back was against the wall and I was trying to get people out of the way so I could get up."

Cueto can expect a suspension as soon as Wednesday for his role in the fracas.

Carpenter said he didn't have a problem with former teammate Scott Rolen, who grabbed him and drove him to the backstop.

"It was fine. I think Scott grabbed me and they thought we were doing something. That's when the bullrush got me. Scott was pulling me out and I was fine with that," Carpenter said. "I didn't know what happened, I felt someone grab me. Next thing you know I'm laying on the net getting kicked."

When a Reds radio network reporter said to Rolen that it looked like he was trying to serve as a peacemaker, Rolen paused and said, "That's a very friendly way of putting it. It's a very nice thing to say."

Of course, this all started Monday when Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches."

Phillips, the Reds leadoff hitter, always taps the shin guards of the opposing catcher and umpire with his bat before the game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took issue with the gesture.

"The comment he made last night ... that's going to happen. If you think I'm going to be in a good mood about the comment you made last night, don't say hi to me," Molina said.

Molina then said something to Phillips, kept him from getting into the batter's box and Phillips started jawing back. Then the benches emptied, with managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa getting into a shouting match.

"One thing led to another and guys were chirping and some guys said be quiet and then one of their coaches told our guys to be quiet," Baker said. "I told him to be quiet and Tony told me not to talk to his coaches."

After the managers were pulled apart, the second wave went on behind them with Rolen, Carpenter and Cueto caught up in it.

No players were ejected, only the two managers.

Molina then backed up his words, hitting a home run in the second and imitating Phillips' home run trot.

Molina finished 2 for 3 with two RBI, while Phillips was 1 for 5 with an RBI and made the last out in a Reds' loss for the second consecutive night.

Afterward, Phillips didn't have much to say.

"We just lost today. Regardless of what happened, it's all about wins and losses and we got an L today," he said.

With the 8-4 win, the Cardinals take over the lead in the National League Central by percentage points over the Reds.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com