PHILADELPHIA -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto's performance jumped another level in quality in 2011 when he made a change to his mechanics that had him turning his back to the batter. It was similar to something Luis Tiant did in the 1970s.
2011 was also the year that a nagging injury started occurring for Cueto, who strained his right lat muscle late that season and again last month when he was placed on the disabled list. In 2012 during the playoffs, he strained his right oblique muscle. He suffered a recurrence of oblique soreness earlier this month, as well during his rehab process.
"This is part of the game, to get hurt. Maybe the rotation I do and that mechanic I do is affecting me," Cueto said Sunday as Tomas Vera translated. "I'm going to have to see what's going on. If that continues to happen, I'm going to have to make some changes in my mechanics."
Cueto, who is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts for the Reds this season, will be activated from the disabled list on Monday to face the Mets in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field. He has made two rehab starts for Class A Dayton without issue, totaling 13 innings with one run allowed. He threw 58 pitches in five scoreless innings on Tuesday for the Dragons.
"I'm happy and thank God most of all, I'm healthy," Cueto said. "I will continue to work hard and see what happens."