No Cueto plan, yet

So far, there is no news on the Reds plans for pitcher Johnny Cueto. He is still listed as Friday’s probable starter vs. the Pirates but that can easily be changed to Micah Owings if the Reds decide they want him off of the DL.

“I talked to [GM] Walt [Jocketty] briefly about it but we have to get with Dick and the trainer and the doctor and get their opinion on things,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

The bottom line is that Cueto doesn’t have the feel of the ball coming out of his hand, even though he still has his velocity. Baker confirmed that whatever they decide with Cueto — it would be how they progress the rest of the season — and not just for Friday. My prediction: Cueto is put on the DL.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 9
Taveras 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Balentien 7
Rosales 5
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Bailey 1

2B Brandon Phillips is back in there after missing one game with a sore left hand. Phillips was hit on the hand on Saturday. Baker made out two lineups just in case Phillips had trouble during batting practice.

“He said he’s feeling a lot better,” Baker said before BP. “He hates to miss games. If he can play, he’ll be out there.”

According to my Milwaukee colleague, Adam McCalvy, Brewers GM Doug Melvin is “working on something” with Bill Hall. The discarded infielder/outfielder that was designated for assignment, Hall had the Reds’ interest. The Brewers have until Friday to trade Hall or release him and eat the nearly $11 million he is owed through 2010.


Leake_Boxberger.JPGFinally, the Reds top two Draft picks got their first looks at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday. Mike Leake, the No. 8 overall pick, was clearly comfortable in the group as he answered questions.

“Just to know I was who they wanted, even though I’m not typical at 5-foot-10,” Leake said. “I’m glad they had the trust in me to pick me. Hopefully I can do something special here.”

The No. 43 overall selection Brad Boxberger was a little more reserved. Both players had their families and their agent with them. They all got to meet manager Dusty Baker and owner/CEO Bob Castellini in the dugout after talking with reporters.

“I’ve been throwing a couple of days week and staying in shape,” Boxberger said. “I’m ready to get to Sarasota and start playing.”

Both players, signed late Monday night after passing their physicals, will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League affiliate in Sarasota but there’s little chance they will pitch again this season. The next step is likely the Arizona Fall League or the instructional league.

Jocketty, who dealt two young pitchers on July 31 in Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart to get Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays, didn’t deny that Leake and Boxberger would be on the faster track once their pro careers commenced.

“They’re definitely quality college pitchers out of quality programs that are further advanced,” Jocketty said. “They should be able to move along quickly. That’s why we felt we’d have some depth and were confident we’d get them signed.”

By the way, the Reds signed 32 of their 50 2009 draft picks, including all of their first 13 selections.

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