Cueto Shut-Down For Year

Right-hander Johnny Cueto wanted to keep pitching but he deferred to the medical professionals.

"I feel better," he said before the Reds' 6-4 victory Tuesday. "I talked to the doctor. I want to throw, but he said no."

Cueto has not pitched he strained a lat muscle in his start last week. He'll finish six innings short of qualifying for the ERA title. He is .04 behind Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cueto, the 25-year-old right-hander, finishes the season 9-5 with a 2.31 ERA. He has lowered his ERA each of his four years in the majors. Cueto missed the first six weeks of the season because of biceps tendinitis.

"I was most proud of him and our training and fitness stuff on how we really needed him but he chose to wait until he was right to come back," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

"He came back big-time ready, which shows the kind of training regimen he was doing more or less on his own.

"Now, Johnny Cueto is a runner. I was talking to him about all the guys in my past -- the importance of endurance, the importance of running, the importance of hard work."

Cueto signed a four-year, $27 million deal in the offseason.

"He proved his worth," Baker said. "He earned his money. He's going to get better and better. Hopefully we can get the same kind of progress out of some of the other guys. If that happens, keep him where he is and get better. Hopefully next year he can pitch 200 innings."

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