Right-hander Mat Latos has a bone chip that’s causing pain in his elbow and will be unavailable for the Cincinnati Reds’ wild card playoff game Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
The Reds are hopeful that with a couple of days of treatment, Latos’ elbow might improve enough that he could pitch in the division series if Cincinnati advances.
Manager Dusty Baker had been leaning toward starting Latos in the wild card game until the right-hander told him Saturday that the elbow was bothering him. Latos volunteered to pitch in relief if needed Tuesday, but Baker doesn’t like that idea.
”I don’t think we’re going to take a chance,” Baker said Sunday morning. ”We haven’t discussed it in-depth.
”Most pitchers have little bone chips or fragments in their elbows. Sometimes they move around. Sometimes they get back in that slot and stay there. His is a little sore.”
Instead, Johnny Cueto will start for the Reds on Tuesday. Latos will likely be left off the Reds’ roster for the wild card game. If the Reds win, he could be added for the division series, which would start Thursday in the city of the team with the best record in the NL.
”I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine for that,” Baker said. ”Those things float in and out until you get them taken care of. Guys pitch with them for years, and most people have them.”
The Reds also are trying to get left-hander Tony Cingrani ready for a possible appearance later in the playoffs. He’s been sidelined twice by back spasms but has been throwing in the bullpen without problem.
The Reds plan to send him to their spring training facility in Arizona to keep throwing. Baker said he’s not in good enough shape to start a game at this point. The Reds also could use him in relief, a role he filled for part of the season.