Last season, Johnny Cueto had 19 wins and put up an amazing 2.78 earned run average; he was, without a doubt, the Cincinnati Reds‘ ace last season. However, if and when the Reds make the playoffs, they should leave him off the postseason roster.
It’s hard to believe how much difference a year makes. Last season, he started a career-high 33 games, whereas this season, he has only started nine, as he has battled injuries for the majority of the season.
Cueto is currently in the process of returning; he is throwing simulated games to try and get back to normal. He was limited to 30 pitches on Sunday, and Reds’ skipper Dusty Baker wants to get him to 45 pitches in the near future.
Once Cueto returns to the team, he probably won’t be a starter, as everyone in the rotation is having too much success right now, and you know what they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Reds could move Cueto to the bullpen and he could be used as a reliever that could come in and pitch up to three innings, like the San Francisco Giants did with Tim Lincecum last season. The only problem with moving him to the bullpen, however, is that pretty much everyone in the ‘pen is doing really well at the moment, so it would be hard to find a good place to put him.
No matter what happens with Cueto, it would be best for the Reds to leave him off of the postseason roster, even if he’s healthy. He hasn’t pitched in a real game in a long time, which means his timing, and things of that nature, aren’t yet what they should be.
It would be best for the Reds to leave Cueto behind this postseason, and let him recover and get back to 100 percent.