Johnny Cueto Likely Headed Back to DL With Elbow Issues

SAN DIEGO -- As they left San Francisco on Sunday night, the Giants weren't quite sure of the severity of Pablo Sandoval's hamstring strain, or whether Andrew McCutchen's foot bruise would heal enough in time for the right fielder to start Monday night at Petco Park. But they had a pretty good idea of where they stand with right-hander Johnny Cueto. 

General manager Bobby Evans said it's likely that Cueto will end up back on the DL. Cueto was pulled after just four innings Saturday night and later admitted his elbow still flares up every time he throws a pitch. Cueto met with team doctors on Sunday morning at AT&T Park and Evans said he will be evaluated again early this week. It's unclear if Cueto will see an outside specialist, although he saw several when his elbow first started hurting in April, including Dr. James Andrews, who told him he did not need Tommy John surgery. 

This time around, Cueto seems less optimistic about the next step. He missed two months already with the elbow sprain, which never healed, and allowed 16 runs in his four starts back. 

"I keep telling you guys and keep telling myself I'm fine, but in reality, I'm not," he said after Saturday's start. 

The Giants already have their best alternative in the rotation. Derek Holland took Jeff Samardzija's spot and will start Monday night. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton are on the roster as long relievers, and one would be next up if a Cueto replacement is needed Friday night in Phoenix. 

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