San Francisco pitcher Johnny Cueto will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks because of a strained right elbow and will not have Tommy John surgery.
The 32-year-old right-hander was examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Cueto will undertake rest and rehabilitation.
“It was really incredible how well he was throwing the ball with this elbow soreness that he’s been dealing with,” Bochy said. “There’s been nobody in baseball throwing the ball better than him. So, it says a lot about his toughness.”
San Francisco hoped Cueto had overcome the blister and forearm issues that caused him to miss six weeks last year, when he went 8-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 25 starts.
Cueto was 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 2016, making his second All-Star team, after signing a $130 million, six-year contract with the Giants.
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The Giants enter Monday in third place in the NL West with a 19-15 record despite the absence of Cueto and staff ace Madison Bumgarner, who has not pitched this season after suffering a fractured pitching hand in spring training.
The Giants still must face the reality that they’ll be without their pitching staff’s co-ace until possibly July. Nevertheless, Giants catcher Buster Posey described his reaction as “cautiously optimistic.”
“In my experience, everybody seems to respond differently to that type of injury,” Posey said. “You just kind of wait and see and hope for the best. The worst thing you can do is say, ‘Woe is me.’ I feel like we have a good rhythm going as a team right now and hopefully we can keep that.”
Rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez, who’s occupying Cueto’s spot in the rotation, recorded his first Major League win on Sunday at Atlanta and is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA.