Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto hasn't been on the hill since June having to depart his June 28 outing after just one inning (see picture above). He's on the disabled list with a right lat strain for the third time this season and now it doesn't sound like he's close to a return.
“They showed basically about 75 percent of the strain is healed,” athletic trainer Paul Lessard told Cincinnati.com. “He's going to continue to do the strengthening stuff for another week and then we'll re-scan him again and see if that 25 percent has closed up.”
As Cincinnati.com points out, the minor-league season is only a couple more weeks, so the time that Cueto can get a rehab assignment in is running out.
Cueto, 27, is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this season. Last year he had ace-level numbers and finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting.
The Reds have gotten good work from Tony Cingrani (6-2, 2.78 ERA) this season with Cueto on the shelf, but Cueto's a frontline starter and the Reds are in a dogfight for the NL Central title.