Cueto’s Return in Debate as Reds Eye Sweep of Giants

The Cincinnati Reds will look to complete a sweep of the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night and win their first postseason series since 1995. Going forward, however, is the question of how long it will be before Johnny Cueto pitches again.

While encouraged by his improvement, the Reds are cautious about their optimism and are going to wait a couple of days to evaluate his condition. Cueto threw just 8 pitches in the series opener on Saturday before back spasms forced an early departure. Cueto didn’t miss a single start for Cincinnatti this season, making 33 appearances and throwing a career high 217 innings. He was 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA and in all likelihood will at least get some play in the NL Cy Young discussion.

Homer Bailey will move up to take the Game 3 start against Ryan Vogelsong. Bailey pitches just 11 days after throwing a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The situation the Reds are trying to avoid is having to replace Cueto on the roster because per the rules, he would be ineligible to return until the following series, which would be the World Series if Cincinnati advances that far. The Reds are hoping to finish the series tomorrow to allow Cueto some additional time to rest and treat his back. Should there be a Game 4, Mat Latos has been in the talks as a potential starter, after pitching 4 innings of relief in Game 1 on Saturday.

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