Originally written on MLB Injury News  |  Last updated 10/22/14
The Cincinnati Reds have an enviable luxury as the N.L. Central pennant race heats up, with Johnny Cueto's return from a right shoulder muscle strain. Monday marked the first time since June 18th that Cueto has been on the hill for the Reds, looking dominant while shutting out the Astros for five innings in a 6-1 Reds' victory. As Doug Mittler from ESPN.com posits, "the Reds could try to find Cueto a prominent October role in the bullpen, similar to what the Giants did in the 2012 playoffs with Tim Lincecum." Lincecum shined at points in that role, and there is no reason to rush Cueto into a Reds' playoff rotation that is already front-logged with Mat Latos, a rejuvenated Bronson Arroyo, and the underrated Homer Bailey. Keeping the 27-year-old phenom healthy is a top priority, especially if a win-win situation can be cultivated by placing him in the bullpen. Cueto's 3.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio in ten appearances this year would place him in the top fifteen in the Majors projected over a full season, and having his unnatural firepower lurking in a bridge or elongated set-up role would give Dusty Baker a trump card or two should a starter struggle early in any key late-season or postseason contest. Follow @mlbinjurynews Looking for fantasy baseball advice?
PLAYERS: Johnny Cueto
TEAMS: Cincinnati Reds

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