MILWAUKEE -- Reds manager Dusty Baker announced Sunday that right-hander Johnny Cueto will pitch the first game after the All-Star break.
The Reds continue divisional play against the Cardinals after the break, and Baker said he's still unsure what the rotation will look like after Cueto. Cueto's performance Saturday night wasn't his best of the year, and Baker said the pitcher had "the least amount of stuff he's had the whole year."
"A good pitcher can get out of trouble twice maybe, a very good pitcher two or three times, but after that, you're asking for trouble," Baker said.
Cueto pitched 6 1/3 innings Saturday, and his success against the Cardinals in his last outing had Baker excited. Cueto threw eight innings against the Cardinals on July 4 and surrendered one earned run but took the loss.
Baker said the rest of his rotation will be figured out during the break, though he doesn't want to give Bronson Arroyo too much time off. Arroyo said he hasn't welcomed extra rest in the past, but the 34-year-old said he'll be OK with the extra time.
"These days it's getting harder and harder to keep your body feeling good," Arroyo said. "I'm getting a little bit older and having a lot of innings on my arm, so I welcome the extra days and work out in the weight room and try to get a little stronger."
Arroyo called his first half of the season "a bit of a struggle" as he went 7-7 with a 5.58 ERA. He had a no-decision his last time out against the Cardinals and his last win came on June 25 against the Orioles.
"I'm happy that seven wins isn't terrible and I feel like I'm on pace to win 14, 15 games for the ballclub, but it's definitely been an up-and-down year for me physically," he said. "I've gone out there sometimes and been suffering so hard to have decent stuff just to compete, and then other days I feel great, so it's been inconsistent."
Reds enjoy stay in downtown Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE -- It's a hotel that not every Major League player is fond of, but the Reds insisted they made it through their stay at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee without any haunting tales.
The Pfister's reputation still resonates with Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, who is convinced he was haunted when he stayed at the Pfister during his days with the Twins.
"You set the air conditioner for one temperature at night, and in the morning it's a different temperature," he said. "You turn off your iPod, and it turns back on. You don't get rest. No way. I'm out of there."
Gomez ended up bunking with Twins teammate Alexi Casilla, who was his roommate in the Minors.
When the Brewers brought Gomez to Milwaukee for their annual winter Fanfest, he insisted on a room at a different hotel and offered to pay. The team obliged.
The Reds stayed at the Pfister this week, and All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips laughed when he described his four-day stay. He said he didn't want to talk about it too much for fear that something odd would happen to him.
"What can you really do?" Phillips said. "It's not like it's the first haunted hotel I've stayed in, so it is what it is."
Pitcher Bronson Arroyo didn't mind the stay, as he took advantage of the downtown location to break out his guitar and play on the street corner. Playing on the street is something he said he only does once or twice a year, but with 10 days off and pent up energy, he wanted to work on his vocals and found a spot outside the hotel to do so.
"I was just out on the street trying to find a place that would echo real nice, and they called security on me because I guess I was keeping people up at the hotel," he joked. "I was still a ways away, but I guess sound travels in the concrete jungle."
Arroyo said teammates laughed as they saw him jamming on the corner but that they weren't surprised to see him out there.
"A lot of the guys on this team know I play and they laugh about it a little," he said. "People may be walking home from a bar or something and see me sitting on the corner playing, which is something they probably wouldn't do, but you know, they all get it."
Manager Dusty Baker said his club is fortunate the rest of the National League Central is so bunched up. His players called the first half of the season "frustrating" and "inconsistent," but the manager was quick to point to the standings, something he reiterated in Saturday's team meeting.
"What team in baseball wouldn't feel good going into the break two or three games out?" Baker said. "I just hope it's two rather than four."
The Reds optioned right-handed pitcher Carlos Fisher to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Dontrelle Willis. Fisher was called up on Thursday when Edinson Volquez was optioned.
Manager Dusty Baker said he's heading to Montana to unwind and go fishing during the All-Star break.
Audrey Snyder is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.