Each and every time I look at the Cincinnati Reds I think the same thing about how good of a team they are. Injuries and a few stumbles along the way have led them to where they currently are; three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. I still believe this is one of the better teams in Major League Baseball but one thing they need to regain that status is ace starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.
Cueto went down with a strained oblique in mid April and has been on the disabled list ever since. Oblique muscles are a slippery slope when it comes to straining them. Though sometimes it might not seem like a huge deal, it is just the type of injury that can fester and stick around long enough to ruin a player’s season. That goes double for a pitcher that relies heavily on his pitching motion to get his job done.
With his rehab starts getting under way soon, Cueto appears to be just a week or so away if all turns out pain free. During his side throwing sessions there has been zero pain so far. This is a great sign for the Reds because they need his presence in that rotation every single fifth day. In addition to Cueto coming back from oblique issues, catcher Ryan Hanigan is also rehabbing soon to get back to the big league level. Within a couple of weeks the Reds might finally be full strength again and might be able to get back to their steady winning ways.