UPDATE: Cueto has been diagnosed with a mild right oblique strain. He is still getting treatment and it has not changed the mystery of the timetable for a return.
“We’re still throwing the kitchen sink at him right now,” head trainer Paul Lessard said.
The injury is different in that most pitchers get oblique injuries on their non-dominant side.
“It didn’t make sense,” Lessard said.
Right now, the Reds have nothing new about Reds ace Johnny Cueto and his availability for a possible Game 4.
“We’ve got to talk about and see how Johnny is,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday afternoon. “A lot of guys here would be on less than full rest. We hope we don’t have to talk about it at all.”
It appears that disabling Cueto is an option that is at least on the table, although it seemed a less likely choice.
“We’re trying not to,” Baker said. “We’re seeing if we can avoid doing that. He wouldn’t be available the next series. But if it’s unavoidable, then that’s something different. We’re weighing our options.”
By rule, any player disabled in the NLDS would not be available for the NLCS.
If Cueto had to be replaced, Mike Leake has been preparing since the regular season ended for this type of contingency.
“He’d be the one,” Baker said.
Reds lineup vs. Giants
Just touched down in Cincinnati after a long day of flying back from San Francisco, by way of Minneapolis…
The Reds changed their off-day workout to being optional and after their flight arrived at around dawn Monday, only a handful of players attended.
MLB announced that if there is a Game 4 for the Reds and Giants, it will be at 4:07 p.m. ET on TBS.
In the meantime, here is Dusty Baker on the press conference podium talking about the depth of his pitching staff.
UPDATE — The Reds have decided that Bailey would pitch Game 3.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto returned to Cincinnati on Sunday, one day after his start was cut short by back spasms eight pitches into facing the Giants during the opener of the National League Division Series.
“I saw him before he went back. He said he felt a lot better this morning,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He’s going back to get treatment back there rather than flying all night with us.”
The Reds media notes on Sunday listed Homer Bailey as a probable Game 3 starter on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. Bailey was originally slated to start Game 4, if necessary.
Bailey also flew back to Cincinnati on Sunday to get ready.
“Homer is our Game 3 option,” Baker said. “You can’t take a chance with Johnny, and we have to see exactly. We can’t have him go out there again and have something else happen to him and come up short again. When he goes back out there we will make sure to the best of your knowledge that he’s OK.”
The Reds are hoping to avoid having to replace Cueto on the NLDS roster. By rules, if he is removed, he would not be eligible for the NL Championship Series should the Reds advanced.
“You can’t wait too long,” Baker said. “If you wait too long and do it at the last minute, [Major League Baseball] might not OK it. That’s what we were told yesterday. You can’t wait until the last minute.”
I will have more soon on Reds.com/MLB.com
Reds lineup vs Giants
Before Saturday’s Game 1, Bronson Arroyo discussed his excitement about starting Game 2 on Sunday.
And here is the story on Arroyo, from MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy.
Reds lineup vs. Giants
Here is the breakdown of the Reds’ NLDS roster:
Catchers (2): Ryan Hanigan, Dioner Navarro
Infielders (7): Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Miguel Cairo, Wilson Valdez
Outfielders (5): Ryan Ludwick, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul
Starters (4): Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey
Relievers (7): Aroldis Chapman, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton, Sam LeCure, Jose Arredondo, J.J. Hoover, Alfredo Simon
Three players in the traveling party had to go – reliever Logan Ondrusek, starting pitcher Mike Leake and catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Ondrusek was 5-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 63 appearances this season. But he struggled down the stretch with a 5.02 ERA over his final 16 games with nine walks and 18 hits over 14 1/3 innings.
Leake, the Reds fifth starter this season, was hoping to make the club as a long reliever and potential pinch-hitter. In 30 starts, he was 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 179 innings while batting .295 with two home runs.
Mesoraco, the Reds top prospect entering the season, struggled in a backup role and batted .212 with five home runs in 54 games. He demoted to Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 23 and has had only three at-bats since returning as a September call-up – and none since Sept. 10.
The Reds took a regular session of stretching, throwing and batting practice during Friday afternoon’s NLDS workout. There were no major developments.
Dusty Baker said the club would not reveal its 25-man roster until Saturday.
In the meantime, here is some video of Reds Game 1 starter Johnny Cueto during his post-workout press conference.
Also, here is Baker at his press conference talking about being back in his hometown area of San Francisco.
I’m at AT&T Park for the Reds workout. They just took the field…
Reds manager Dusty Baker, in the final year of his two-year contract, has barely talked about or answered questions about his status for next season. Looking very relaxed in his office on Friday afternoon, Baker subtly hinted his intentions about returning.
“The way I look at it, we’ll get even better in the future,” Baker said. “The more mature these guys get, we’ve got a bunch of guys here still learning how to hit, still learning how to play basically.”
Does that mean he will be back in 2013? Baker’s face cracked a smile.
“This is my team, you know,” Baker replied.
More later after the workout is over and the clubhouse opens.