By Brian Kotloff
September 15, 2013

(R. Yeatts/Getty Images) Reds starter Johnny Cueto has been on the disabled list three times this season with a lat strain. (R. Yeatts/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto will make his first start since June 28 against the Houston Astros on Monday, Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans.

Cueto has been placed on the disabled list three times this season while battling a strained lat muscle. The 27-year-old emerged as the Reds' ace last season, going 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA -- but leaving his first postseason start with an oblique injury -- before posting a 3.33 ERA in his first nine starts this season.

He returned to throwing off a mound during the first week of September.

From the Enquirer report:

“It’s kind of like a spring training game, getting ready, he appears relatively ready in what appears like spring training for him now,” Baker said. “We’ll see what we can get out of him. It’s worth a try, because he’s Johnny Cueto. The more we get out of him (Monday) and the more we get out of him the next time, maybe who knows what he’ll be ready for come playoff time.”

Cueto’s insertion into the rotation isn’t the only change, as Mike Leake will pitch Tuesday’s game and Greg Reynolds will go on Wednesday.

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