San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was forced to exit Tuesday night’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a groin injury. 

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Latest on Cueto’s Timeline for Return

Thursday, Sept. 22

Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reported Cueto will try to play catch Friday and isn’t ruled out for Sunday’s start.

Cueto Among League’s Best in Rebound Season

Cueto, 30, signed with the Giants in the offseason after going 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 176 strikeouts for the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals—with whom he won the World Series title in 2015. He struggled in his short stay in the American League, however, posting a 4.76 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 13 regular-season starts.

The Giants were banking on a return to the National League rejuvenating Cueto, who established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball in his seven-and-a-half seasons with the Reds. In 2014, he was an All-Star and finished as a runner-up in Cy Young voting.

He also went 2-1 in the 2015 postseason, including a complete-game, two-hit, one-run victory over the New York Mets in Game 2 of the World Series.

He’s 17-5 this season with a 2.79 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 212.2 innings pitched.

In San Francisco, Cueto joined an excellent rotation that includes Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Cain, while the team acquired Matt Moore at the trade deadline. The Giants—watching as the Mets reached the World Series behind the trio of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard—felt that upgrading the rotation was a priority in the offseason.

But despite that impressive depth, the Giants will hope Cueto is able to return in time for his next start with the team fighting for its life in a wild-card race that figures to come down to the wire. 


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