Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto missed two-plus months earlier this season on account of a a sprained pitching elbow. Now, less than a month after his return from the disabled list, Cueto may be headed back to the shelf. After making his fourth straight subpar start on Saturday, when he allowed four earned runs in as many innings in a loss to Milwaukee, the 32-year-old told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area and other reporters that his elbow issues haven’t subsided. “I keep telling you guys and keep telling myself I’m fine, but in reality I’m not,” said Cueto, who will meet with doctors Sunday, per Pavlovic.
In the early stages of his DL stint in the spring, Cueto feared he’d require Tommy John surgery. That wasn’t the case then, but it’s now unclear whether he’ll continue to be able to avoid the procedure. Needless to say, elbow surgery would be a disastrous outcome for Cueto and the Giants, who signed him to a six-year, $130MM guarantee entering 2016. Cueto then racked up his third straight 200-inning season in the first year of the deal, during which he posted a 2.79 ERA across 219 2/3 frames, though injuries have beset him since then. He only tossed 147 1/3 innings of 4.52 ERA ball in 2017, and while Cueto has been much better at preventing runs this season (3.23 ERA), he has totaled just 53 frames and registered his highest FIP (4.71) since his rookie year in 2008.
More from the National League…
- Padres relievers Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates have drawn attention from Red Sox scouts, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. Boston’s among many teams eyeing Stammen and Yates, it seems, as Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required) relays that interest in the two pitchers is “significant.” That’s to be expected, as both Stammen and Yates have been tremendous this year and come with affordable team control. Stammen’s in the first season of a two-year, $4.5MM contract, while Yates is making a bit over $1.06MM and still has a couple of arbitration trips remaining. Trading one or both of them would continue a major bullpen makeover for the Padres, who sent relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to the Indians for catcher prospect Francisco Mejia earlier this month.
- Unsurprisingly, the rebuilding Marlins have made pending free-agent outfielder Cameron Maybin available for trade, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. Whether teams are interested in Maybin isn’t clear, but he has been useful for the Marlins this season after signing for $3.25MM during the winter. The 31-year-old has taken 284 plate appearances in 2018 and batted .250/.338/.339 with three home runs and eight stolen bases (though he has also been caught five times). Defensively, Maybin has seen time at all three outfield spots and shined overall, having recorded eight Defensive Runs Saved, a 4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating and five Outs Above Average.
- The Dodgers plan to use left-hander Julio Urias as a relief weapon when he returns in the coming weeks, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. In the meantime, the 21-year-old Urias is continuing to work back from June 2017 shoulder surgery, and the Dodgers “have no idea” what they’ll get from him when he rejoins them, McCullough writes. Before undergoing that serious procedure, Urias had been among the game’s highest-regarded young hurlers, particularly in 2016 – a 77-inning debut in which he pitched to a 3.39 ERA/3.16 FIP with 9.82 K/9 against 3.62 BB/9 over 18 appearances and 15 starts.