You’ve probably already heard the news today, oh boy.
Johnny Cueto has been scratched from starting tonight’s game. Pedro Villarreal has been called up from AAA Louisville to take his place. No announcement from the Reds about the nature or severity of Cueto’s condition. Fingers crossed for the (unlikely) event that this is simply a way to delay his start so that he can face the Cardinals.
[Update: John Fay is now reporting that Cueto has been placed on the Disabled List with a "lat injury." Jim Day is reporting that the Reds feel this injury isn't as serious as the previous time Cueto was sidelined.]
Villarreal will be making his first major league start, although he did pitch a clean inning against the Phillies last September. He’s from Edinberg, Texas and was drafted by the Reds in the 7th round in 2008. He’s 25 years old, 6’1″ 230-pounds, and throws with his right hand.
How has Villarreal pitched this year? Hmm. Jeremy Warnemuende, Mark Sheldon’s assistant (Sheldon is off this series) writes:
Villarreal has had a rough go of it with Triple-A Louisville this season, going 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 11 starts. He’s given up 67 hits and 15 walks while striking out 42 in 59 innings.
Here’s tonight’s lineup. Note Hannahan playing second instead of Izturis, Hanigan catching.