CINCINNATI (AP) - The Reds have lost top starter Johnny Cueto for at least a few weeks because of a strained muscle in his back.
The defending NL Central champions put Cueto on the 15-day disabled list on Monday and called up right-hander Justin Freeman from Triple-A Louisville, giving Cincinnati another reliever for the start of a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Reds are likely to call up left-hander Tony Cingrani to start in Cueto's spot on Thursday.
Last year, the Reds made it through the season without one of their starters getting hurt. That streak ended when Cueto pulled an oblique muscle in the first inning of a playoff appearance against San Francisco.
Cueto strained a back muscle in the fifth inning of a 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh on Saturday.