I don’t know what to make of this:

And when the media was admitted, they were kept out of manager Dusty Baker’s office — usually the first stop. A few minutes later, team physician Dr. Tim Kremchek and team trainer Paul Lessard walked out of Baker’s office.

When the media did talk to Baker, somebody said, “Well, at least you’ve got Johnny Cueto pitching tomorrow.”

And Baker’s answer was, “Well, we’ll talk about that tomorrow.”

As Hal McCoy said, stay tuned.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 67 Comments

  1. It could be an injury, or it could just be Dusty not wanting to talk about tomorrow until tomorrow.  But it certainly doesn’t sound good.

    Given the timing and the cryptic Baker response after the meeting, another possibility could be something related to 20+ Biogenesis guys about to be suspended.  I don’t want to speculate since no Red has been tied to Biogenesis yet, but the timing makes you wonder.

  2. maybe they are changing the rotation order so cueto can pitch against st. louis…

    • @Mike: Great call. I was thinking all day they should do something like this. I haven’t kept track of the rotation at Louisville, but I wonder if they could call up Tony Cingrani to start tonight so Cueto could pitch in the opener vs. St. Louis.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Or more likely, Cueto himself is hurt.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: possibly, hopefully not

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: You know, at this point I’m starting to get the feeling Cueto has either become injury prone or a bit soft. The injuries that have taken him down the last few years have not been the serious, obvious structural injuries that pitchers sustain. I feel like “tweaking your oblique” and going down for 3+ weeks is a bit extreme. Either way, I don’t know that I’ll ever expect Cueto to pitch 200 innings again.

          • I feel like “tweaking your oblique” and going down for 3+ weeks is a bit extreme.

            Just because it doesn’t require surgery doesn’t mean it’s insignificant or indicative of being “soft.” It’s one thing if the idea is that Cueto conditioned himself poorly, but we don’t really know that one way or the other. The oblique is part of the core, which is pretty essential in all baseball moves… and anything that effects mechanics in the core is going to negatively impact something that requires such precision as throwing strikes over and over again.

            If he’s vulnerable, it’s up to Cueto and the medical/training staff to figure out the best defense. I’ll take it over Tommy John.

          • @Matt WI: I get that, I really do. I just feel like every time Cueto pitches anymore I wait for him to get a little discomfort on his face and then pull himself. Again, I’m more concerned about the fact that I don’t expect him to throw 200 innings in any given season. That’s a problem for your “ace.” All it means is I think we have to be very serious about extending Latos and Bailey because I’m more confident in both of those guys being healthy and elite for a longer time.

  3. This is out of left field, but does anyone else notice that Sam Lecure seems to stretch his upper back muscle after every pitch? Maybe it’s just a tic, but I was just wondering. Seems impossible to throw 90 MPH if you do have a strained muscle there, but still…

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I had never noticed LeCure stretching out his back prior to his appearance last night, but I certainly noticed it last night. He couldn’t seem to get his back loose and I was concerned about his repeated focus on trying to get his back loose after having plenty of time to prepare in the bullpen.

  4. I just want to give Chad props for the Bill & Ted reference. That is all.

  5. Any chance this could have something to do with the Biogenesis bust that’s coming down?

  6. I’m just praying this doesn’t have something to do with Phillips…Having to go any length of time swapping Izturis for Phillips in the field and at the plate could be an absolute disaster. I’d say it would be far worse than when Joey went down last year.

    • @eric nyc: Agreed. While we never could have expected Frazier and Ludwick to pick up the slack for Votto quite like they did last year, it’s beyond imagination to think that Izturis could fill in for BP.

    • @eric nyc: I think if Phillips hits the DL, there’s a good chance that we’ll see Henry Rodriguez called up. He isn’t Phillips, but he’ll likely be a lot better than Izturis.

      • @AlphaZero: While anyone can hit better than Izturis, including a small child, HRod is bad.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Why is H-Rod bad? Because it took him some time to adjust to AAA and he had a rough April? He’s 23 and is a career .301/.347/.425 hitter in the minors. He’s coming off a hot May and is hitting well so far in June. He doesn’t have much power, but he can hit for average. His defense isn’t great, but he can play a passable 2B. He may never be an everyday player at the Major League level, but I think he’ll at least be a solid contributor off the bench in the future.

          • @AlphaZero: His defense at 2B is passable. His real defensive problems come at 3B. HRod can hit. I don’t think anyone questions his ability to hit, but his defense has come into question. If BP does go on the DL I really, really hope not), I also expect HRod to be called up since he’s already on the 40 man roster. I do not want to see Izturis in the batter’s box any more than absolutely necessary. Since he can’t play SS or 3B defensively makes his role as a utility IF at the major league level problematic. He probably ends up on an American League roster in the near future, although he may be able to play 2B for someone if he can hit ~.280 at the major league level, just not the Reds.

      • @AlphaZero: The timing of the meeting, involving the manager, trainer and team doctor, is curious. Any biogensis discussion would have a completely diffent audience and any involvement of an injury update from earlier in the day would probably have been reviewed at a time other than immediately following the game. LeCure was looking kinda funky out on the mound, but I didn’t notice anything else during the game. Of course, anyone could have tweaked something during the game or just prior to the game.

  7. If ESPN is to be trusted (big if, I know) the PE list doesn’t include Cueto or any Red for that matter:

    Players Under Scrutiny

    Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to Biogenesis, OTL has learned. Among the players who might ultimately face discipline:

    Player Team
    Ryan Braun Brewers
    Everth Cabrera Padres
    Melky Cabrera Blue Jays
    Francisco Cervelli Yankees
    Bartolo Colon Athletics
    Nelson Cruz Rangers
    Fautino de los Santos Free agent
    Gio Gonzalez* Nationals
    Yasmani Grandal Padres
    Fernando Martinez Astros
    Jesus Montero Mariners
    Jordan Norberto Free agent
    Jhonny Peralta Tigers
    Cesar Puello** Mets
    Alex Rodriguez Yankees

    * Sources told ESPN that Gonzalez received only legal substances
    ** minor leaguer, not a member of the MLB Players Association

    • @I-71_Exile: According to ESPN, MLB is looking to suspend at least 20 players. The 15 names you called out are the only ones known to have been implicated at this point. More names are likely to pop up in the near future, and some of those names could be big ones.

  8. Here’s an interesting and detailed article from Jonah Kuri on “the other side” of the PED suspension issue.


    • @Steve Mancuso: Steve (or others), do you know anything about what cooperation–if any–is required from someone who has already been caught? So would Grandal, for example, have been required to confirm where he got the drugs that he tested positive for? I’d imagine that could have some impact on his case. Of course, I’ve never heard anything about guys who were caught turning over any information so maybe they’re not required to do so. In which case this should be changed in the next CBA so guys are forced to explain how they got their drugs before they’re reinstated.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Very good article Steve. Thanks for digging that up and posting it… Now, back to work for me.

  9. Will Dusty be the first manager suspended for PEDs?

    inquiring minds want to know…..

    just why is he not saying anything about this issue? Does this go back to his days with the hated dodgers?

    • @reaganspad: “Is he a Taliban? Is he an Al Qaeda?” -Will Ferrell

    • Will Dusty be the first manager suspended for PEDs?

      inquiring minds want to know…..

      just why is he not saying anything about this issue?Does this go back to his days with the hated dodgers?

      He might be the first one suspended for ODing on Viagra.

  10. If it had been something with the Biogenesis lab, Walt Jocketty as well as one of his assistants would probably have been involved so I think that we can safely take that scenario off the table. If it had something to do with Cueto’s medical condition or another pitcher’s medical condition, wouldn’t Bryan Price have been involved in that conversation? I have to wonder now that the swelling has gone down in BP’s forearm if something has shown up there.

    • @icee82: Another thought just occured to me that helped me back away from the ledge, at least temporarily. Votto needs some time off for R&R. There is no question or debate regarding Votto’s need for time off. Right now, BP is unavailable and taking Votto out of the lineup whit BP already out of the lineup would be a difficult decision. I think everyone involved (except possibly BP himself) would like to see BP rest his arm until after the day off and come back strong for the series with the Birds. What is BP is telling Dusty and the medical/training staff that he is fine and ready to go. If I was the manager, I would at least consider getting BP back in the lineup so I can rest Votto, if BP is really ready to return to game activity. Personally, I would rest both of them and hope for the best in the rubber match of the series with the ROX, but BP lobbies pretty hard when he wants to play.

  11. From Dusty’s response it would seem like Cueto is injured again, but in his last start he was fine and none of the other reporters have said anything about Cueto doing anything differently on his off days, so it seems weird that an injury would just appear out of nowhere.

    Other possible DL condidates are Phillips and Broxton, or maybe the trainer and Doc were just giving Dusty an update on other injuries in the system and this is more Hal speculation.

    This would seem like a good time to shuffle the rotation though. Assuming Cueto goes today and then you have the off day, you could bump up Latos to face Wainright since he’d be on normal rest, and then put Leake in to separate the catcher’s days. That would give you:

    Cueto – Han
    Latos – Han
    Leake – Mes
    Arroyo – Han
    Bailey – Mes

  12. C. Trent Rosecrans just tweeted that Walt Jocketty and Dusty had a long post game meeting. That is cause for concern.

    • @icee82: WLW said Cueto is hurt.

      • @rfay00: Oh wow. That really creates a problem for today’s game. Cingrani, Galarraga & Reynolds have aall started and pitched deep into games recently at AAA & there is no one else pitching at AAA who can even pretend to deserve a spot start at the major league level. Simon just went multiple innings recently and LeCure just pitched yesterday. There’s an off day tomorrow. Do the reds just start Ondrusek, hope for the best and finish by committee?

      • @rfay00: And I just managed to find my way back to the precarious ledge. 😡

  13. This is pure speculation, but are we sure Dusty is ok? He was pretty animated in the dugout last night and maybe he had a heart issue. Again, just speculation based on his past condition.

  14. Rosecrans reporting via Twitter that an “extra” pitcher is at GABP. No word on who it is or any official word on Cueto moving to the DL.

    • @Kyle Farmer: Is now an appropriate time to start to wonder about Cueto’s toughness?

      • @Kyle Farmer: I guess I just don’t get the motivation here. Does it make you feel better in someway to believe that you’re “tougher” than a major leaguer or something?

        What is to be gained from the discussion of whether Cueto is “tough?”

        • @al: There was no insinuation in that statement that I was tougher than Johnny Cueto.

          I guess I feel that we’re looking at a situation where it might affect how the team moves forward with Arroyo not to mention the contracts of Latos and Bailey. If your ace is going to be on the DL multiple times per year with strains and sprains it does have an impact on the club.

          • @Kyle Farmer: Ok, I guess I misread that based on comments above suggesting that Cueto is soft. There have been a ton of articles about his stair running routine, and I believe he is generally regarded as a tough, hardworking pitcher.

            That said, he is short for an MLB pitcher, and because of that has always been a durability risk. It’s why he almost never got a shot in the first place. Last year was the only year he had pitched 200 innings in his career, and so its not surprising that he’s having some issues this year.

            I think the Reds should be cautious about re-signing him after this current contract is up. But in his career he’s averaged 174 innings per year. Adam Wainright has averaged 166 in his 6 years as a starter. Pitchers get hurt, and so far, Cueto hasn’t been worse at staying on the field than a lot of other aces.

  15. If Cueto is really down and out for a while that is a tough blow to the Reds. Having him back was a real pick me up.

  16. Is it out of the question that Cueto just might be really sick? I couldn’t imagine trying to start a MLB game as a pitcher with a nasty stomach bug, food poisoning, or strep throat.

  17. If it is the same issue,is it the mechanics of that “twist” causing the issue? Frankly he really moved to an elite pitcher in all of baseball when he began doing his “Luis Tiant” delivery. Is part of his mystique that “twist” and if he has to shelf that, will he still be as effective? Anything that a pitcher does that is different is always tough for hitters to pick up which causes them issues. I really think that we need a healthy Johnny Cueto to go deep into the post season and I really hope that the Reds can get it figured out.

  18. Pedro Villareal is pitching according to Twitter

  19. Pedro Villareal is the SP tonight.

    Cueto is scratched.

  20. Sweet mercy we’re going to have to score some runs if that’s true.

  21. Whatever the issue may be we all know FOR A FACT, that it’s all Dusty’s fault; a series of events triggered by not making Chapman a starter and generally making the sky fall.

    • @joelie1274: I think we’re too deep into the season to really go back to those kind of what-ifs.

      That said, myself and many others on this board said that the whole Leake v. Chapman competition was stupid, and that the Reds should have prepped them BOTH to be starters, with the understanding that the Reds rotation was going to have some injuries this year. I still think that would have made the most sense.

  22. Yikes!!! Villarreal was available and is already on the 40 man roster, but Yikes!!! again. He has a 2.0 HR/9, a 5.03 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP at AAA. Yikes!!! yet again. Well maybe, just maybe he can reach deep and pull just one good game out of his reserve to impress the powers that be, who hold his future in their hands.

  23. Maybe Dusty is doing this to have Cueto, Latos, and Leake against STL?

    Yeah right.

  24. If this is another DL trip, it’s a giant blow to the team. They were very lucky on the injury front last year. This year, not so much. An extra big bummer for me because I’m going to the game tonight and was happy to see that Cueto would be going.

  25. Via Twitter…

    Joel Luckhaupt‏@jluckhaupt1m
    I just heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Cueto pass out at 31 Flavors last night.

  26. Lineup posted:

    CF Shin-Soo Choo
    SS Zack Cozart
    1B Joey Votto
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Todd Frazier
    LF Xavier Paul
    2B Jack Hannahan
    C Ryan Hanigan
    SP Pedro Villarreal

    So Hannahan gets the start at 2B. I guess Dusty figures that the Reds are going to really, really need their hitting shoes and that with so many balls getting hit to the gaps and over the wall, the defense isn’t quite as important.

  27. I’m actually super relieved it’s Cueto and not Phillips. We already know Cingrani is a perfectly viable replacement starter. Losing BP for any amount of time would be devastating.

  28. After Votto and Bruce struck out back to back in the 8th (?) last night, I half expected Bruce and Frazier to switch places in the batting order.

  29. I just looked it up, and Hannahan has exactly two innings of MLB experience in 2009 in the MLB.

    (He did play a fair amount of 2B in the minors, though.)

  30. Cueto to the DL with the lat injury that stalled his rehab.

    • @al: Or wait, that was the ab injury. The lat injury is the same as the first trip to the DL.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


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