What was once back spasms is now something closer to what it looked like on Saturday night: a strain to this muscle on Cueto's right (pitching) side. We'll assume it's the external oblique anyway, they didn't specify.
Everyone's physiology is different, but we've been here before. Stubbs strained an oblique and missed 19 days in June. Cozart missed 18 days in September.
Cueto's twisty wind-up could make his injury more acute - and harder to play through. But Dusty reminds us that we just don't know:
You've seen the obliques: Sometimes they hang around for a while, and sometimes they don't hang around for a while. We don't know the severity of it. He came in yesterday and got treatment all day long, so right now I would just be guessing to let you know how he is exactly right now. In a nutshell, we don't know."
If Cueto is deactivated and replaced, he'll miss the NLCS too. I like -ManBearPig's idea that, if the Reds win tonight, they replace Cairo with Leake. That way, Cueto could still be an option for the NLCS.
If there is a Game 4, the Reds will probably have to remove Cueto, since you can only sub in like players (pitcher for pitcher). Unless:
- They decide to start someone already on the roster (Latos, LeCure, bullpen game) rather than Leake
- They bring in Leake and replace someone other than Cueto (under a possibly false pretext)
- They convince the league office that Leake is a hitter by trade