When he suffered the injury in the 2012 playoffs, it was unclear exactly how bad Johnny Cueto's strained oblique was. He was originally diagnosed with a mild strain, but Cueto was unable to go for the rest of the postseason. Now, as spring training games approach and pitchers and catchers are reporting, the Cincinnati Reds are not concerned about his oblique.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com confirmed as much via Twitter yesterday:
Not a concern - RT @dwills76 any word on if Cuetos oblique injury is a concern or is he past that now?
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) February 12, 2013
Cueto was a key part of the Reds' success last season. He helped the team to the second-best record in all of baseball last year. Unfortunately, they fell short against the San Francisco Giants who ultimately won the World Series. The Reds will need a healthy Cueto to help them replicate their success going forward.
Cueto was 19-9 last season with a 2.78 ERA. It was the second-consecutive season in which Cueto had posted an ERA under 3.00. He finished 2011 with a 9-5 record to go along with a slim 2.31 ERA. Surprisingly, Cueto was not selected for the 2012 All-Star Game despite his success. He did finish fourth in National League Cy Young voting and even garnered some MVP votes.
It's safe to say he is important to the Reds' success.