The Reds dropped injured ace Johnny Cueto from their division series roster Wednesday, replacing him with right-hander Mike Leake a few hours before Game 4 against the San Francisco Giants.
Major League Baseball granted permission for the move at 11:30 a.m., less than five hours before the first pitch.
Cueto pulled muscles in his side during the first inning of the series opener Saturday night. The Reds had been hoping their 19-game winner would improve enough to be able to pitch again, but the injury was still bothering him.
Cincinnati was reluctant to make the move with Cueto because it also leaves him ineligible to pitch in the NL championship series, should Cincinnati make it that far. The Reds lead the best-of-five series 2-1.
''It's tough taking your potential Cy Young guy out of your rotation,'' general manager Walt Jocketty said.
Jocketty said the Reds filed the paperwork for the roster switch shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday and got MLB's permission at 11:30. Leake,...