Johnny Cueto to end injury-marred season with Tommy John surgery

Johnny Cueto’s 2018 season is over, and his 2019 season might be at risk as well. (AP Photo)
Johnny Cueto’s 2018 season is over, and his 2019 season might be at risk as well. (AP Photo)

The San Francisco Giants elected to stand pat at the trade deadline on Monday. They would soon receive some bad news for their season on Tuesday.

The club announced that right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Cueto’s season will end after nine starts, 53 innings and a 3.23 ERA.

The surgery figures to also take a sizable chunk out of Cueto’s 2019 season, if not the entire season, as Tommy John surgery typically carries a recovery time of at least one season. That’s not great news for a team that elected to go all in on the present with trades for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria this offseason.

Cueto was placed on the disabled list Monday with a right elbow sprain after exiting a start Saturday night, in which he posted just four innings and not a single pitch faster than 90 mph. Cueto had already missed the months of May and June due to an elbow sprain.

While Cueto posted decent results on the mound, red flags abounded for the 32-year-old. In addition to the velocity concerns, Cueto also registered a strikeout rate of 17.6 percent, on pace for his worst mark since 2011, and a 4.71 FIP, his worst since his rookie year in 2008. The Giants still owe Cueto $65.5 million over the next three seasons, with a $22 million team option waiting in 2022 that carries a buyout of $5 million.

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