Leake ready to step in for Cueto, if needed

Leake ready to step in for Cueto, if needed

CINCINNATI -- If Reds pitcher Mike Leake is needed to replace injured ace Johnny Cueto on the playoff roster, he's ready to go.

"If Cueto is not ready, it's probably [Mat] Latos or me," Leake said on Tuesday.

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Leake, the fifth starter who was one of the final cuts from Cincinnati's National League Division Series roster, has been doing his normal between-starts routine.

"It's been going fine," Leake said.

It was revealed Tuesday that Cueto suffered a mild strain of his right oblique muscle during his brief eight-pitch start in Game 1 at AT&T Park. If the club has to replace him with Leake on the roster, it would render Cueto ineligible for the NL Championship Series should the Reds advance.

In 30 regular-season starts, Leake was 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 179 innings. He was also the pitching staff's best hitter, batting .295 with two home runs.

"Any time you can get an opportunity to help us move on to the next round, it's awesome," Leake said. "We'll see what happens."