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Johnny Cueto ruled out for Game 4, but replacement is TBA

Oct 10, 2012, 10:15 AM EST

cueto getty Getty Images

Yesterday when the Reds announced that Johnny Cueto has been diagnosed with a strained right oblique muscle they initially left open the possibility that he could start today’s Game 4 against the Giants.

That always seemed incredibly unlikely and sure enough just hours later manager Dusty Baker officially ruled out Cueto for the start. However, the actual Game 4 starter hasn’t been announced yet as the Reds decide between Mat Latos on short rest or Mike Leake, who could only be added to the roster if Cueto is removed (and thus made ineligible to return before the World Series).

Latos threw four innings and 57 pitches in relief of Cueto in Game 1 on Saturday, so perhaps the short rest would be canceled out by the lower than usual workload. Based on the usual recovery timetable for oblique injuries Cueto is unlikely to be ready for at least a couple weeks and if that’s the case they might as well make the move for Leake.

For now the Game 4 starter is listed as “TBA” and the first pitch is scheduled for 4:07 ET.

  1. schollteach - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    I have a question, if the Reds activate Leake to pitch today, do they have to DL Cueto and make him ineligible for the NLCS? Or could they put Jose Arrendondo, another pitcher, on the DL as a “healthy scratch” or with “shoulder fatigue?”

    • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      All roster moves in the playoffs have to be approved by the league office and are approved only for legitimate injuries. Therefore, I don’t think those types of shenanigans will be allowed. Reds can either DL the Kung Fu Coward and activate Leake or they can take their chances on Johnny Wholestaff for games 4 & 5.

      • schollteach - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Do you have a link to this information or any past situations where the league has denied a roster move? Or are you just guessing?

      • bengalsucker - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        I would say his knowledge is slim since he still dwells on Cueto kicking the piss out of a worthless catcher in the fight that was started by the Cards. lol The last thing a starting pitcher is going to use in a fight is his fists and they had him pinned against the net behind the plate. He had every right to defend himself. Just sucks (for LaRue) that Jason was in the way. Oh well. No loss for anyone. Again, LaRue was worthless and on his way out anyway. Just unfortunate he had to end his career that way one a team with a bunch of whiners.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        I know because the Cards had to get permission from the league office to remove Garcia from their roster. MLB.com link:

        http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121009&content_id=39635486&vkey=pr_mlb&c_id=mlb

        Some addtional points about Kung Fu Coward:

        1) He went around the scrum to the back on his own trying to “get in on the action.”
        2) He was pinned by his own teammates.
        3) Others were pinned and they didn’t kick with metal cleats like a baby.
        4) If his own teammates were pinning him then he wasn’t acting in self defense.
        5) He should have been prosecuted for assault and battery for kicking in a crowd with metal cleats.
        6) After the game he was smirking and smiling and pretending he couldn’t speak english so as to avoid questions.

        I hope he never throws another pitch. It would be karma for his cowardly actions. I have never seen an athlete react in a more gutless way.

      • Marty McKee - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        I’ve never figured out why it’s cowardly for a man in the middle of a 50-man brawl to defend himself by using his feet. Nick, what would you do if you were in an alley with your back (literally) against the wall, and 25 guys were trying to beat you up? I’m guessing you would use hands, feet, trash can lid, whatever you had to in order to defend yourself.

        I don’t know. I’ve seen all Bruce Lee movies, and I’ve never heard anyone call him a coward for kicking jerks in the face.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        Marty – Watch the video…his own teammates are holding him against the wall/screen. Furthermore, there were others who were pinned against the wall/screen and they didn’t react by kicking with their metal cleats. Cowardly.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Marty – 2 other points…(1) if you watch the video you will see no one going after the Kung Fu Coward when he decides to start kicking and (2) the KFC put himself into the situation by hurrying around to the back side of the scrum in order to try and get in some licks. He assumed the risk by putting himself in harm’s way and then was too much of a baby to defend himself like a man.

      • Marty McKee - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Well, you didn’t answer my question, and–lemme guess–Cardinals fan?

      • kevinbnyc - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Why does the fact that he was wearing metal cleats matter? It’s not like they’re steel toe boots. If he’d been stabbed in the eye by one of the cleats, sure, keep pointing it out, but he got kicked in the head and concussed. Which seems like something that’s bound to happen with 50 grown men are involved in an out of control brawl. What if Cueto had just punched him in the face and knocked him out cold? Would he still be a “coward” who doesn’t deserve to play baseball anymore?

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Marty – I didn’t answer your question because its not analagous to the situation KFC was in. His TEAMMATES were pinning him to the wall/screen. There were not 25 people trying to beat him up. No one from the Cardinals was threatening him when he started kicking like a baby.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Kevin – Yes if he would have used his hands he wouldn’t be a coward. Kicking with metal cleats in a crowd is cowardly behavior. And then pretending he doesn’t speak english to duck questions afterward is also cowardly. Oh and he was afraid to pitch in STL the subsequent series. Yellow.

      • Marty McKee - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        Soooo you’re saying that you *would* use your feet and kick “like a baby,” but like a true LaRussa dittohead, can’t admit it. We all get the message.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        If I were actually being attacked by 25 people I would use anything. Of course that wasn’t the case with the Kung Fu Coward. But you are ignoring that….

      • Marty McKee - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Yeah, there was no fighting going on at all. It was just a group hug, and Cueto, who was not in danger of being hurt at all, just like everyone else in the hug, kicked a random person (that he didn’t even know who he was, because he was laying at the bottom of a pile) in the head for no reason.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        Nobody said it was a group hug. Once again you fail to address the points I made about the fight that are observable from the video. I guess someone should have picked up a bat and started swinging. That is analagous to using metal cleats in a crowd.

    • Marty McKee - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that if you are stupid enough to get involved in a fight, you are willingly taking a risk that you might be hurt. LaRue could have stayed in the dugout. He chose not to. He should be blaming Molina and Carpenter, because they were the ones who started the fight in the first place.

      • Nick C - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Expect to get hurt, sure. Expect someone to start wildly kicking with metal cleats in a crowd. In 40 years of watching baseball I have never seen a player do that before KFC did.

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