ARLINGTON -- When Reds ace Johnny Cueto works to return from the disabled list for a third time later this season, he will find the process will likely take much longer.
The Reds will be especially deliberate, now that Saturday's test results on Cueto revealed that he once again has a strained right lat muscle. It is the muscle located under his shoulder. The injury was confirmed during an ultrasound test performed in Cincinnati.
"It's in the almost identical spot on the scan, over basically the scar tissue that had built up over that muscle," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said on Sunday. "It's a small, tiny tear that was healing. He just picked that scab, basically."
The strained right lat cost Cueto almost five weeks from April 15-May 20. His second DL stint lasted from June 5-16 for what was called a right shoulder strain -- but it was essentially in the same area as the first injury.
The plan is to have Cueto shut down from throwing for at least a couple of weeks. There is no timetable for a return yet.
"We'll probably go a little slower this time," Lessard said. "It's probably going to be an issue the rest of the season. We'll have to take some more time. Hopefully the scans show it healing over before we start a throwing program."
Marshall progressing faster than Broxton
ARLINGTON -- Reds lefty reliever Sean Marshall, on the disabled list since May 24 with a sprained left shoulder, was back on the outfield grass long tossing Sunday morning. It was a good sign coming after Saturday's first session from a mound, when Marshall threw 20 pitches in the bullpen.
"He felt real good throwing today, too. That's a plus," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said.
Things are not progressing as well for right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton, who begin a throwing program this weekend as expected. Broxton has been out since June 15 with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow and still feels some pain.
"He was still a little tender doing muscle activity," Lessard said. "I didn't really want to push it until he was really comfortable doing all of those exercises."
Parra proving reliable out of bullpen
ARLINGTON -- Reds lefty reliever Manny Parra appeared pumped up as he walked off the mound after being taken out in the 10th inning on Saturday vs. the Rangers. Upon taking over to begin the bottom of the ninth, Parra retired all four batters he faced with one strikeout. Cincinnati later took a 6-4 win in 11 innings.
"I think we all really wanted that win," Parra said on Sunday. "Mike [Leake] threw the ball so well, it was ridiculous."
Parra has been throwing well himself. He entered Sunday with nine consecutive scoreless appearances, totaling eight innings, and had retired his last 12 batters in a row. With lefty Sean Marshall on the disabled list, Parra has taken on a higher-profile role in the Reds' bullpen.
"I don't even know what role it is," Parra said. "I've pretty much come in a bunch of different situations. I just try not to put it in a box. They call up [to the bullpen]. I do know, of course, if a couple of lefties are coming up or something like that. It's just a good feeling, especially knowing the battle we've been having lately."
Parra had an 8.10 ERA over his first six appearances of the season before he went on the disabled list with a left pectoral injury. In 15 appearances over 12 innings since returning on May 24, he has a 3.00 ERA.
"It's pretty much the same thing as at the end of spring, being able to throw a breaking ball behind in the count," Parra said. "Now it's getting to the point where I'm throwing it a lot. I know the way this game works. I'm just riding the wave, enjoying it and getting the job done."
Hanigan could return to action Monday
ARLINGTON -- Including the club's off-day on Thursday, Sunday marked the fifth straight day out of action for Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan. He has been out with a sore left ankle.
Devin Mesoraco has done all the catching in Hanigan's place. Mesoraco has been bothered by a sore knee but can play through it.
There is a chance that Hanigan could return on Monday when the Reds open a seven-game homestand against the Giants.
"He had a little hop in his step yesterday," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Before, he had a little hitch in his step. It looks like he is walking normal. It doesn't mean he's 100 percent. We've just got to make it through the break. I've just got to watch him. There's a difference between being hurt and being injured."