On Saturday, Johnny Cueto made his fourth start since returning from a stint on the disabled list, but it might have been his last bit of action for a long time.
Manager Bruce Bochy was talking with reporters Monday and explained that the right-hander, who is headed back to the DL thanks to an issue in his right elbow, could end up getting Tommy John surgery, which would end his 2018 season and also leave him out for a good portion of 2019.
"There has not been something determined yet, but it's fair to say there's a strong possibility of having surgery," Bochy told reporters.
Cueto started five games to start the season, but was placed on the DL in May because of inflammation in his pitching elbow that was later determined to be a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Cueto met with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews to discuss treatment for the UCL injury back in May, and Dr. Andrews suggested rehabbing the injury at the time. Players are normally out for at least one year after Tommy John surgery.
Bochy told reporters Monday that the club has not decided yet if Cueto will go back to Dr. Andrews.
In nine starts this season, Cueto tossed 53 innings and tallied 38 strikeouts while posting a 3.23 ERA. In his start Saturday against the Brewers, he allowed four runs in as many innings. Cueto, 32, is in his 11th MLB season.