Tough Break for Cueto, Reds

MLB.com reports Mike Leake (8-9, 1.35 WHIP) will replace Johnny Cueto (19-9, 1.17 WHIP) on the Reds’ NLDS roster. After this move, Cueto isn’t eligible to pitch until the World Series.

Leake was added to the roster in place of the injured Johnny Cueto on Wednesday morning, after approval by Major League Baseball. It will be Leake who starts Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Giants at 4:07 p.m. ET on TBS. The move means Cueto, felled by a right oblique strain, will not be eligible to pitch again until the World Series — if the Reds can get that far.

“It was a very, very tough decision,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “But our medical staff felt, at best, that Johnny might be able to pitch one game in the next series if we get there. So we thought the importance of today’s game and the rest of the series, versus the one game next time, outweighed that. It’s a tough thing to have a potential Cy Young guy out of your rotation.”

Replacing a 19-game winner with a sub .500 pitcher is a major setback. Assuming they get by the San Francisco Giants, the Reds will certainly miss Cueto against the St. Louis Cardinals or Washington Nationals. Over the last 3 years, Cueto was 7-3 combined against the Cardinals and Nationals. Mike Leake was 5-4 over the same period facing the Cardinals and Nationals. Additionally, both teams have a higher batting average against Leake with the Cardinals hitting .314. May want to hedge your Reds’ future bets….of course the current Reds’ future price probably just got better.

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