ST. LOUIS -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto, currently on the 15-day disabled list for a strained right lat muscle, was scheduled to head back to Cincinnati for a medical checkup. Assuming all goes well as expected, he will head out on a Minor League rehab assignment.
Cueto is scheduled to start on Friday for Double-A Pensacola in a home game against Montgomery. Next Wednesday, he will start for Class A Dayton at home vs. Lansing.
"He'll be happy wherever he's going," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Wednesday. "He's champing at the bit. He looked pretty good [in his bullpen session]. He didn't have any soreness afterwards."
Cueto threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Monday -- his second time pitching off the mound since going on the DL on April 15. Right now, he's expected to get just the two rehab outings, but there's always a chance for more.
"That's what we're thinking initially," Baker said. "It's not etched in stone. We'll see how he comes out of it."
Bruce responds to Reds fans on Twitter
ST. LOUIS -- Amid his struggles at the plate of late, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been hearing it from fans, including on social media. Following Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Cardinals, when he went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, Bruce took to Twitter and pushed back.
"I appreciate all the tweets, good and bad, actually. You guys are what drive the game," Bruce began in a series of tweets. "I'm obviously not hitting as well as I'd like to, yet I actually feel sorry for the people on here who feel that it's necessary to try and put me down on Twitter. It really just explains further who you are, and there are obviously things in your life that you're unhappy about and you take it out on me via Twitter.
"I suggest you look into talking with a life coach or something to help you get over whatever you have going on in your life. There is obviously a lack of something going on, and I hope you guys get it straightened out, because you all sound like idiots. Everyone have a good night. Haha."
On Wednesday morning, Bruce declined to elaborate further when asked about it by MLB.com.
Entering the series finale vs. the Cardinals, Bruce was 4-for-23 on the road trip and was batting .252 with one home run, 11 RBIs and a National League-leading 40 strikeouts. He hit his first triple of the season in the second inning and finished the day 2-for-4.
Bruce, who along with Joey Votto, is the only Reds player to start in all 29 games this season, didn't feel worn down or in need of a break.
"I'm fine. I think it's what you prepare for in the offseason," Bruce said. "You have to expect to get a little tired, because it's playing every day. I pride myself on being prepared to play and being available every day. I don't make the lineups. That's up to Dusty [Baker]. We have a day off tomorrow, which is huge. That's going to help a lot."
Lutz gets first big league start in finale
ST. LOUIS -- Reds rookie Donald Lutz, who was called up on Monday from Double-A Pensacola, made his first Major League start in left field and batted seventh in Wednesday's series finale against the Cardinals, going 0-for-4.
Lutz, who replaced the injured Chris Heisey on the roster, grounded out as a pinch-hitter in his debut on Monday.
"It's really to his advantage to be out there early, because they don't know him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Unless they called the Minor Leagues and asked if they played against him to get a scouting report."
Baker told Lutz on Tuesday he would be starting the next game.
"The game is the same. Just be yourself," Baker said he told Lutz. "You signed by being yourself. You advanced through the system by being yourself. So be yourself here. Don't try to do more than you're capable of doing. It's counterproductive. Just play the game."
The first German-developed player in the modern Major Leagues, Lutz is the second product of the MLB International European Academy to play a big league game. The first was Alex Liddi, who debuted for the Mariners in 2011.
• The Reds acquired corner infielder and outfielder Mark Teahen from the D-backs on Tuesday night in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Teahen, who will be assigned to Triple-A Louisville, was added for Minor League depth.
A former member of the Royals, White Sox and Blue Jays, Teahen last played in the Majors during the 2011 season. He was batting .211 in 22 games this season for Triple-A Reno.