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Johnny Cueto injury: Reds activate pitcher for start Monday night

Cueto has missed a month of the season due to a lat strain. Neftali Soto was demoted to Triple-A to create room on the roster.

Andy Lyons

The Cincinnati Reds have officially activated ace pitcher Johnny Cueto from the disabled list, who has missed a month with a lat strain. Cueto will start Monday night against the New York Mets.

To clear room for Cueto on the roster, first baseman Neftali Soto has been optioned back to Triple-A, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fayman. Soto was recalled two days ago and collected one at bat while playing in two games.

Cueto, 27, finished fourth in Cy Young voting in 2012, and was off to a great start this season before suffering his injury. In three starts, he had allowed just five earned runs. He also had a 9.3 K/9 at that time, over two strikeouts more per nine innings than his career average.

Cueto tied for the league lead with 33 starts last season and finished with a 2.78 ERA and 1.171 WHIP. He has developed into a star pitcher for the Reds, and the leader of their starting staff.

The Reds optioned Tony Cingrani to Triple-A when they called up Soto. Cingrani, a top prospect coming into 2013, made six starts and posted a 3.27 ERA in Cueto's absence.