Cueto Exits Early with Arm Pain

The Reds rotation was fortunate last season to avoid any serious injuries until Johnny Cueto's mild oblique strain threw a curve into their postseason rotation plans. Now they are awaiting results of an examination on Cueto who left in the fifth inning last night with a pain in his triceps.

Cincinnati lost dropped another contest at Pittsburgh last night, 3-1, and are hopeful that they won't lose more than the game after Johnny Cueto exited early with a pain in his right triceps. The Reds ace had been throwing well and allowed one run before he felt a sharp tweak in his arm while throwing a changeup in the fifth inning. Alfredo Simon relieved him and allowed two runs in two innings to take the loss. J.J. Hoover ended the game by allowing a couple of hits in one plus scoreless innings.

Offensively Zach Cozart led the way with three hits and provided the game's first run on a solo homer in the third inning. Overall the Reds had seven hits and drew seven walks (three to Joey Votto) but were unable to cross the plate more than once. Though they didn't score many runs Cozart had a nice night in his second game batting in the #2 spot. He's an aggressive hitter that could benefit significantly from the pitches offered when Votto is in the on-deck circle. Though his on-base percentage was under .300 last year while batting mainly leadoff he did slash a .324 AVG/.378 OB/.490 SLG line in over 100 plate appearances batting second.

The batting order might not be the main concern of manager Dusty Baker pending results on the seriousness of Cueto's injury. Initial information is that his elbow and shoulder are fine and he' been sent back do Cincinnati for an examination with team physician Dr. Timothy Kremcheck. Preliminary indications are that it doesn't look like anything serious, but of course it was just a mild oblique strain with Cueto last October that put an entirely different twist on the Reds postseason. After three starts in 2013 his ERA is at 2.60 with more than one strikeout per inning and a 1.038 WHIP.

Cueto wasn't the only high profile player removed from the Reds lineup last night. After homering twice in the series opener second baseman Brandon Phillips was absent to attend a family emergency. The Reds don't know how long he will be gone, but reports are that he could return as early as Sunday. He was replaced last night by Cesar Izturis who went 1-3 on the evening.

Other Organizational News:

It was not a banner day for the Cincinnati organization as they were swept in six games, which is pretty difficult to do when there are only five teams that have started there season.

Louisville was walloped 8-0 at Toledo when they managed only two hits on the night. Daniel Corcino allowed six hits and a couple of walks in five innings, but prevented all but two of them from crossing the plate. The loss was his second in two starts. Nick Christiani threw 1+ innings of scoreless relief.

Pensacola wasted a solid outing by Chad Rogers in a 5-2 loss at Mobile. Rogers allowed only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out five in six innings. Loek Van Mil and Chris Manno allowed two runs each with Van Mil taking the loss. Tucker Barnhart had three hits and is now batting .435 on the young season. Travis Mattair provided the game's first run with a solo home run in the second inning and the Wahoo's other score came from a homer off the bat of Donald Lutz in the ninth.

Bakersfield lost 4-3 in twelve innings against visiting Stockton. Radhames Quezada again had control issues, exiting in the third after walking seven, and was charged with three runs on two hits. He's now allowed 14 BB in two outings. Pat Doyle, El'Hajj Muhammad, and Jimmy Moran combined for seven plus scoreless frames before Mike Dennhardt allowed the game-winner for the loss. Juan Silvero led the Blaze offense with two hits including a solo homer that tied the game at two in the fifth.

Dayton made up for a rain-out Thursday and was swept in a doubleheader by visiting Great Lakes. The Dragons managed only five hits in the opener, two by Robert Ramirez. Their lone run came on a home run by Wagner Gomez. Drew Cisco had a nice outing, allowing only one run on seven hits without a walk while throwing all seven of the regulation innings in the shortened DH game. Joel Bender came in to pitch the eighth and allowed the game-winner for his first loss of the season.

The Dragon offense didn't fare any better in the second game which was a 5-1 loss as the Loons held them to only two hits and a walk. Sal Romano was charged with four runs (three earned) while pitching five plus innings for the loss.

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