CHICAGO -- With only 42 games remaining in the season, time will soon run out for the Reds to get ace Johnny Cueto and reliever Sean Marshall back from the disabled list.
Adding a lefty, like Marshall, to the bullpen would certainly provide a boost, but how about an additional right hander, like Cueto?
"It's something we haven't talked about," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. "It won't be until he starts to throw again and we're confident that he's coming back. I think there are still a lot of things we have to discuss in regards to Johnny and how we're going to use him if and when he comes back this year. Until he starts to throw and we're confident he will be able to get back on the mound and pitch, we really haven't talked about it yet."
Cueto, who has never pitched in relief in the Majors, has been on his third DL stint of the season since June 29 with a strained right lat, while Marshall went on the DL for the second time on May 24 with a left shoulder injury. Neither pitcher has resumed throwing programs as of yet, and with less than a month left in the Minor League seasons, rehab assignments will soon no longer be an option.
Price hasn't given up hope that both pitchers could be back this season to help the club.
"I'm optimistic, only because I'm an optimist," Price said. "Marshall is starting to get some distance from the last time he played catch. Certainly we know that Johnny has been out for a long time. It would depend on what our goals are with Johnny. If our goal was to get him back ready to start, it would be a longer process than maybe using him in September out of the bullpen periodically, and cautiously."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.