A stiff neck caused the Reds to scratch A stiff neck caused the Reds to scratch

Cueto Scratched with Stiff Neck

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A stiff neck caused the Reds to scratch Johnny Cueto, their regularly scheduled starter, this evening.  Travis Wood will fill in for Cueto as Cincinnati begins its series against the Yankees.

The team knew Cueto’s neck was giving him problems yesterday, but wanted to see how it responded today during warm-ups.  Wood was scheduled to start tomorrow’s game, so the team decided to simply switch their order in the rotation.

“We knew yesterday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He felt better yesterday. But what happens if he goes out there and starts feeling it again in the second or third inning? Then my bullpen is all torn up.

“What made it an easy decision is this is Woody’s normal day. Had it not been his normal day, then we would have had a different decision to make. As it is, Johnny will go tomorrow. There’s not much difference from today to tomorrow. But, in terms of health, a lot of times that 24-hour period of hands on and loving care has a lot to do with it.”

Apparently Baker is a positive thinker, as the manager was unwilling to entertain the possibility that Cueto would not be ready tomorrow.

“I thinking it is better,” Baker said. “That’s how I think. I think Johnny will be ready.”

Cueto has been a stud this year for the Reds, maintaining an ERA of 1.68 over 8 his starts.  He’s held batters to a .207 batting average and has a miniscule WHIP of 1.01.