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10/04/09 12:39 PM EST
Cueto's winter ball contingent on Reds
Club will make decision for pitcher based on health
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- If starting pitcher Johnny Cueto wants to pitch in winter ball at home this offseason, he'll have to check with the Reds first. "If there is extreme fatigue, it's our decision," said Reds assistant general manager Bob Miller, whose responsibility is being familiar with all of the league rules. The threshold for extreme fatigue is set at 170 innings during a regular season. Cueto pitched 171 1/3 innings in 2009. He finished 11-11 with a 4.41 ERA. After a long regular season that was preceded by the World Baseball Classic and winter ball in the Dominican Republic, you'd think the last thing Cueto would want to do is pick up a ball this winter. When asked about not pitching in winter ball during the offseason following his final start on Saturday night, Cueto cracked a smile and said in English: "I don't know, maybe in December," Cueto said. Then with the aid of a translator from Spanish: "I'm going to get rest, but I'm happy with how I'm feeling strong. My arm is 100 percent now," Cueto added. Cueto spent two weeks on the disabled list in August with right shoulder inflammation, which was created by arm fatigue. He went 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA over the final six starts following his activation. The Reds aren't completely closing the door on letting Cueto pitch this winter. "We will evaluate it," Miller said.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.