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Reds skip Leake, considering his playoff status

Reds skip Leake, considering his playoff status

Reds skip Leake, considering his playoff status
CINCINNATI -- As the Reds try to set their rotation for the playoffs, they made the decision to skip fifth starter Mike Leake this time around.

Leake was originally scheduled to start vs. the Brewers on Tuesday, but the club announced during Monday's off-day that ace Johnny Cueto was moved up to take the assignment. The move kept Cueto pitching on four days' rest, and he will be followed by Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey.

The next time Leake will start is on Saturday at Pittsburgh. As for his status on the postseason roster, the right-hander realizes he is on the bubble.

"I really don't know yet. They haven't said anything," Leake told MLB.com on Tuesday. "I can make assumptions, but they wouldn't be 100 percent accurate.

"I know I haven't deserved a spot to be one of the four [starters], but I feel I can still help."

Leake is 8-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts this season. Over 173 innings, he has allowed 197 hits and 38 walks with 113 strikeouts.

While the Reds haven't publicly discussed their playoff roster considerations, they could still elect to add Leake to the bullpen. It's a role he hasn't done well with in limited tries. Over 4 2/3 innings in five games, he has a 17.36 ERA (nine runs, 14 hits, two homers). He has not worked from the bullpen at all this season.

On the other hand, Leake is also the team's best-hitting pitcher, with a .288 average, and the staff's fastest baserunner. That versatility could help his cause.

"If they took me, I don't feel they'd necessarily use me as a hitter or to pinch-hit, but maybe to help bunt or baserun, or 14th-inning help," Leake said. "There's always that risk that someone gets hit or if a pitcher gets injured in the second inning and you need someone to mop up innings. You've got a lot of factors."

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