Cincinnati Reds: Team Can Handle Short-Term Loss of Johnny Cueto

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2011

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 11:  Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto #47 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Texas Rangers during the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Recent news surrounding the status of Johnny Cueto, as it pertains to his inflamed shoulder, has Reds fans a bit concerned.  

It was announced that Cueto will take 7-10 days off before he resumes throwing again. As a result, that will keep him Arizona-bound when the rest of the team breaks camp to head off to Cincinnati for opening day.

The diminutive righty, a target of respected publications such as Baseball Prospectus, ends their bio about Cueto with the following:

"The Dominican managed his first season free of arm problems, but his build doesn't inspire the greatest confidence in a pain free future." 

Cueto grew up admiring the legendary Pedro Martinez and upon being drafted, some scouts compared him to his idol.

Though he has yet to get anywhere close to that stratosphere, Cueto has turned into a rock solid No. 2 starter for the Reds. He hasn't been great, but his youth and talent inspire confidence that we, perhaps, have yet to see the best Cueto has to offer.

Those plans are on the temporary backburner, as right now the biggest thing that Cueto has in common with Martinez is the same propensity for injuries.  

Last year was Cueto's sole season where he enjoyed complete health.

Until he returns, which sounds like it could be soon, the Reds should be fine. A rotation of Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Travis Wood, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey is still long on talent and depth.

In my opinion, this is why you don't trade the young pitchers. Every so often, there is talk about them moving a Homer Bailey, or another one of the young pitchers, but in my opinion, you can NEVER have enough pitching depth.

The moment you think you do, could become the moment you suddenly don't.

This whole situation is hardly enough reason to pull the fire alarm, but in a banner 2010 season which featured remarkable health, let's hope that this isn't the first sign of things to come.