Pitchers making progress
The Reds bullpen was an active place on Tuesday afternoon as three pitchers on the disabled list all had sessions on the mound.
Here is the summary in brief:
*LHP Tony Cingrani (lower back strain) — Cingrani threw 30 pitches and reported no issues. He is on track to come off of the DL and start on Thursday vs. St. Louis.
“Good to go,” Cingrani said. “Everything is good.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker said that RHP Greg Reynolds, who started the last two times in Cingrani’s spot, could be used to pitch in a piggyback role after Cingrani. That’s depending on how things go Thursday.
*RHP Johnny Cueto (strained right lat) — Cueto threw 35 pitches in his first bullpen session since going back on the DL June 29. Cueto did not throw only fastballs the first time out.
“He threw some breaking balls too. He’s actually been throwing those during the flat stuff we’ve been doing,” Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said.
Did Cueto change mechanics from the Luis Tiant twist he incorporated the past couple of seasons?
“It’s a modified twist now,” Lessard said. “He kind of closes his front side vs. the Luis Tiant thing.”
Did the twist have something to do with Cueto’s repeated injury issues?
“Honestly, no,” Lessard replied. “I think it helps when you get that momentum going. When he flies open and his arm is dragging, that lag in the arm is what causes the strain. When he’s more closed, mechanically he is much more efficient. He doesn’t have that lag in the arm.”
LHP Sean Marshall (sprained left shoulder) — Marshall threw 27 pitches in his second bullpen session.
“It was much improved today vs. Sunday,” Lessard said.
Cueto and Marshall are moving toward accelerated bullpen sessions going forward.
“Our plan is basically Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday bullpens – both of them,” Lessard said. “Hopefully they recover in between each one and progress for each one. If they do, great. Sunday we make some decisions.”
The Reds have not indicated what kind of role Cueto would have going forward, but I believe he will be used out of the bullpen because of the lengthier timetable needed to get him into form as a starter.