CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto earned his first All-Star selection, being voted in by the players to join three other representatives from the Reds at the Midsummer Classic on July 15 in Minneapolis. But although he would be a candidate to start the All-Star Game, he may not pitch in it at all if he makes his last two starts before the All-Star break as scheduled.
The right-hander, who is second in the National League with a 1.99 ERA and 130 strikeouts, is slated to start one of the two games in Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park, which would put him on track to start again on Sunday against the Pirates.
"If we don't have a weather event that prevents him from being able to pitch, I think it would be unlikely," manager Bryan Price said of Cueto's chances of pitching in the All-Star Game. "I wouldn't be a big fan of him pitching and throwing a game on Sunday and coming back on Tuesday."
The "Sunday Pitcher Rule" in the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association states, "Any starting pitcher elected or selected to the All-Star team who makes a start on the Sunday immediately preceding the All-Star Game shall have the option to participate or not participate in the All-Star Game."
The rule goes on to state that if the pitcher chooses to participate in the All-Star Game, he won't be allowed to pitch more than one inning, and may set a specific pitch count with his manager. If the pitcher chooses not to participate in the All-Star Game, he will be replaced on the club's roster but encouraged to attend the game.
"It doesn't bother me, because [Price and the Reds coaching staff] are the ones that know what I'm going to do, what's going to happen," Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera. "Honestly, yes, I'd like to pitch in the All-Star Game. It's my first time, so of course, I would like to pitch."
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.