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Reds' Cueto willing to go to bullpen

The SportsXchange

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto is open to pitching out of the bullpen when he returns to the mound once he recovers from a lat injury.

"I'll do whatever they want," Cueto said, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Cueto threw 60 pitches to live hitters on Wednesday before the Reds played the Cubs in Great American Ball Park. He has made just nine starts this season because of injuries. The last came June 28.

"He was throwing pretty good," Reds manager Dusty Baker told The Enquirer. "It's not surprising to me. Like I said, he's so mechanically sound. He tired a little bit at the end, which is to be expected. It's a matter of endurance. The velocity was pretty good. That's the reason we had the radar gun out there. Where he dropped was in location some."

The Reds will wait to see how Cueto feels on Thursday before making any decisions. Cueto thinks he's set to go.

"I don't know. It depends on what they're going to do -- the front office, the GM," Cueto told The Enquirer. "They're all going to sit down together. I don't know what they're going to do. I feel good. I feel ready. That's their problem now."

While putting Cueto in the bullpen might help guard against additional injuries, the Reds have a need in their rotation after Tony Cingrani left Tuesday night's game with back spasms.

Cueto is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 48 2/3 innings this season. All of his 158 career appearances with theReds have come as a starter.
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