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Cueto on DL with right shoulder strain

Baker confident injury not serious, should miss two or three starts

CINCINNATI -- The Reds scratched right-hander Johnny Cueto from his start on Wednesday and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. The move is retroactive to Saturday.

Manager Dusty Baker said the injury isn't nearly as serious as when it forced Cueto to miss more than a month of action earlier this season.

"He felt it a little bit after he pitched in Pittsburgh [Friday]," Baker said. "He told us after the game he felt it again. But like I said, it's not nearly as bad as last time, so we just think being cautious is the way to go with this thing."

Cincinnati recalled right-hander Pedro Villarreal from Triple-A Louisville to start Wednesday night's game against the Rockies. Villarreal, who appeared in one game for the Reds last year, is 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 11 games -- all starts -- for Louisville.

When healthy, Cueto has been very good for the Reds, going 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in six starts. Even in the game against the Pirates, when Baker said Cueto felt the the injury again, the 27-year-old right-hander was lights out, allowing just one hit and a walk in eight scoreless innings.

Unlike Cueto's last trip to the DL, Baker said he expects his ace to miss just one or two starts, and he'll continue to throw and train as he usually would between outings. Baker said he has no intentions of rushing Cueto back, especially with more than 100 games to play.

"We just have to wait, and hopefully it heals completely and never comes back again," Baker said. "With injuries, especially in the muscle, you don't really know until you get out there and try it. But he doesn't have to go back to square one like last time."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for
Read More: Cincinnati Reds, Johnny Cueto, Pedro Villarreal