Johnny Cueto left his Miami Marlins debut against the Minnesota Twins after just 30 pitches due to arm discomfort, and sure enough, the veteran right-hander has now found himself on the 15-day injured list, per Craig Mish.
Cueto signed a one-year deal with the Marlins over the winter after a surprisingly successful 2022 season with the White Sox in which he pitched to a 3.35 ERA over 158 1/3 innings. Miami hoped that the 37-year-old would help guide a staff full of promising young arms like Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers and Edward Cabrera behind ace Sandy Alcantara.
Johnny Cueto injury update
Wednesday, May 23 Update: Cueto has resumed playing catch and is hoping to get back on the mound for bullpens later this week. This is a positive step, albeit a small one, so Cueto is expected to be sidelined until early June.
Wednesday, May 17 Update: Cueto has been diagnosed with an ankle injury in addition to the biceps injury he was rehabbing. He hasn’t thrown since being pulled from the rehab appearance.
Sunday, May 7 Update: Cueto was pulled from Saturday’s rehab start after just 2.1 innings with an apparent lower-body injury. He was getting lit up on the mound, but if it is an actual injury, there could be a setback in his recovery time and subsequent return to the majors.
Johnny Cueto stayed down for an extended period after this play at first base. The training staff checked his foot/ankle.— Fish on the Farm (@marlinsminors) May 6, 2023
He left the game under his own power.#Marlins | @JaxShrimp pic.twitter.com/RKLN5mkFr7
Wednesday, May 4 Update — Cueto is expected to begin a rehab assignment at the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Jacksonville on Saturday. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he could be back with the major league club the following week.
Tuesday, April 18 Update — Cueto is scheduled to throw a 35-pitch bullpen to start ramping up his throwing program. Miami will likely be taking it slowly with Cueto to make sure he doesn’t experience any setbacks. Assuming all things go according to schedule, the expectation is that Cueto will be out until around May 10.
The team placed Cueto on the IL with what’s being termed right biceps tightness. It’s unclear how long the Marlins expect him to be out, but with arm injuries it’s never safe to assume the minimum stay.
Miami does have an intriguing replacement should Cueto be out for an extended period, though. Lefty Braxton Garrett flashed in 2022, striking out 90 over 88 innings while posting a 3.58 ERA, and he boasts an elite changeup that suggests the 25-year-old has even more untapped potential. He narrowly lost out on a rotation spot in Spring Training, but Cueto’s injury would appear to clear a path to consistent innings. Braxton could potentially get a tough Mets lineup in his first start, but he’s someone worth keeping an eye on — and worth an add in deeper and NL-only fantasy leagues.