Johnny Cueto's injury struggles continued on Friday, as he had to leave his start in the second inning. [AP]
The good news for Cincinnati is that Cueto's replacement in the rotation is rookie Tony Cingrani, who took over for Cueto vs. Texas and has thus far made seven starts in his stead this season. Cingrani has actually out-pitched Cueto on the season (3.12 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 4.91 K/BB to Cueto's 3.21, 1.05, 2.86 in a similar number of innings) and, coming off a season in which he threw 146 minor-league innings, should be able to pitch as much as the Reds need him to going forward this year.
Indeed, the Reds' biggest problem at the moment is not their pitching but, as my battery-mate Jay Jaffe detailed Thursday, their hitting. Unable to pick up their fragile ace, the Reds were shut out by Texas rookie Martin Perez and two relievers, dropping their rate of runs scored on the month to 3.4 per game.