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Red Reposter: It's OK to admit no one knows what's going on with Johnny Cueto

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No need to skip starts, when you can perform Healing Energy Ball Touch.
No need to skip starts, when you can perform Healing Energy Ball Touch.

The Reds are shuffling the rotation
But instead of preserving that extra day of rest for Cueto, Dusty is keeping him on turn. With the off-day today, the rotation will shift from Leake-Bailey-Arroyo-Cueto-Latos to Bailey-Leake-Cueto-Arroyo-Latos. There could be something to Dusty's theory of alternating hard and soft tossers. And despite his deflection in the interview, this is probably done with the playoffs in mind. But that off day was a gift.

Maybe the Reds have another plan to get Cueto R&R before the playoffs. Maybe they have a very good, hopefully somewhat empirical, reason to think he doesn't need it. Or maybe they just don't have the guts to make a small, ultimately meaningless gesture, to make people like me shut up.

Hall o' Famer Hal thinks Cueto's fatigue is mental
There's reason to believe nothing physical, strictly speaking, is wrong with Cueto. For one, his fastball was sitting around 94-95 with his fastball Saturday. His mechanics look a little off, which could mean fatigue. Or it could mean anything, really. So there's nothing that says his arm is turning into a noodle.

But this should be about making sure Cueto - who is at risk with his workload and past history of wear-down - is ready for the playoffs. Not whether he can pass a physical. Even if it's all in his mind, a break from routine or a mental health day(s) can help. Hal - who is a Hall of Famer - seems to mostly (implicitly) agree.

From the man himself: Cueto can't explain it
Which, honestly, is probably a good thing. He's healthy, by all outward appearances. And for a lot of athletes, stopping to get all circumspect about their struggles can often mean a downward spiral of over-thinking and self-doubt. Baker seems to think it has something to do with finding his release point. If that's all it is, then that's something what can be fixed.

Jon Erardi: "Ted joined Reds for a day, but changed team forever"
As usual, Erardi delivers a thought-provoking and eminently human slice of Reds coverage. This is a story about Ted, a young man with Down syndrome who served as bat boy for the Reds' on August 17. It's the kind of heart-warming story my mother texted me to make sure I had read.

Zack Cozart is on the mend
Nursing a strained left oblique, the Coz took BP for the second time yesterday. But that was the day Didi Gregorius learned to hit big-league pitching. Position filled, bestofluck.

Baker gives some advice to Human EKG, Jay Bruce
I'm not sure team's adjust their scouting reports based on "Player of the Week" awards, but if there is a cure for Jay Bruce's hot-cold hitting, some kind of soothingly reductive pyschobabble is probably it.

John Fay looks at the upshot of Walt Jocketty's bullpen moves
Most of the presumptive playoff 'pen are Jocketty hires: Chapman, Marshall, Broxton, Arredondo and Simon. Arredondo, Simon and Broxton all seemed, for different reasons, like somewhat quizzical moves at the time. But they'll all be vital cogs in the playoffs.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Ryan Madson
Via MLBTradeRumors. This is something we'll spend months debating over the offseason, but it's hard to care even a little bit about now. Madson has a $11M mutual option that the Reds will almost certainly be declining. I hope they can work something out at a discount, with the goodwill Madson may have for the Reds' support during his rehab and the knowledge that he's in an even more tentative spot than he was at the end of the offseason last year.

HBT: Red light, green light
The Reds make the list as a team NOT to steal on. This is mostly due to Ryan Hanigan, but Dioner showed he was no slouch

Also: The Reds were on the smiling side of MLB's "500,000th error" this weekend