Will injury bug stop biting?
Whatever this thing called an “injury bug” is — it’s bite has not spared many inside the Reds clubhouse. Just when it seems like a couple of players are getting healthy, another one goes down.
This time, it’s starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. He left Monday’s start vs. the Cardinals after just two innings because of a tight left hip flexor. He will be evaluated again on Tuesday.
Cueto was the leadoff batter in the top of the third inning during a 1-1 game when he appeared to favor the leg on a groundout to second base. He slowly trotted down the line even though Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse had to cover first base on the play.
In his two innings, Cueto gave up one earned run and one hit with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 39 pitches. The Reds lost 4-1.
In his Reds debut, Kip Wells took over for Cueto and started off well by retiring his first seven batters in a row. Then, trouble. A Molina lined single before eighth hitter Brendan Ryan walked. Lohse sac bunted and Schumaker and Rasmus got back-to-back walks and forced home a run.
Cueto was injured not long after Micah Owings wrapped up a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville at Lehigh Valley. In 79 pitches over 4 2/3 innings, Owings gave up one earned run and five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He left with a 4-1 lead.
Depending on how bad Cueto is hurt, Owings could obviously slide right into his rotation spot for Saturday’s scheduled start vs. the Nationals.
UPDATE: Cueto didn’t think he would miss a start but that’s not to be decided until after the Reds know more.
“We’ll have a better idea tomorrow how sore he is and the severity of it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He said he was cramping. I could tell something was wrong when he didn’t run to first base. He was tight early in the game. When I looked up, he didn’t have his normal velocity. He wanted to go back out but we couldn’t take a chance of hurting him.”
Cueto said the issue bothered him before his at-bat.
“Since the first inning, it was bothering me,” Cueto said with teammate Carlos Fisher translating from Spanish. “It got a little tight to start the day but it didn’t really bother me until the first inning.”
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