Reds place Cueto on DL, call up Justin Freeman, shift Ludwick to 60-day DL

Say you'll see us in 15 days. - Joe Sargent

What's looked more and more likely since Johnny Cueto started wincing after throwing a pitch Saturday night is now confirmed. The Reds will put Cueto on the DL. Per John Fay, they're calling it a strained right lat. Which is somehwat surprising, given that Cueto had complained about a sharp pain in his tricep. But the lat connects near the triceps.

Contrary to what I posted earlier, lat problems are not what knocked Cueto out of Game 1 of the NLDS last fall. But Latos problems are what knocked the Reds out of Game 5. I'm sorry for the gallows humor. It's how I'm dealing.

Also surprising is the fact that the Reds will be purchasing from Louisville the contract of young Justin Freeman. Freeman is a 26-year-old righty from Macon, GA, who spent all of last year in Pensacola (AA). He can miss bats (8.4 K/9 over his minor league career) and has excellent control (2.1 BB/9 in minors), but was a little old for the level last season.

Freeman will wear #56, recently worn by Matt Maloney, Micah Owings and Todd Coffey. But also worn by Don Gullet, Lenny Harris and Scott Sullivan.

It was expected that the Reds would get some bullpen reinforcements up in advance of Cueto's spot on Thursday, but it seemed more likely they'd pick Arredondo or someone on the 40-man.

Arredondo, however, would have to pass through waivers if he were sent back down (because he's out of options). And he'd be likely to get sent back down on Sean Marshall's return, if not as soon as Thursday. He also hasn't been throwing strikes down at AAA. For my money, 'dondo is still a better permanent option in the bullpen than both Ondrusek or Parra. But I get it.

To make room for Freeman, the Reds are moving Ryan Ludwick to the 60-day DL.

What seems likely to happen is that Cingrani comes up on Thursday to start in Cueto's spot. Whether Freeman heads back down remains to be seen, but it will have a lot to do with Sam LeCure's health.

***

There's no timeline set for Cueto's return. Will Carroll sez 60 days is the average DL time, but the Injury expert, has also said that the sample tends to be pitchers "toward the end of their careers." Huston Street, who is around Cueto's age, went down last year with a strained lat and was gone a month. Matt Garza has been out for around 3 months. I'd guess no less than 4 weeks.

Update: Dusty sez 3-4 starts. That's less than a month.

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