Giants star Johnny Cueto takes next step in comeback

Johnny Cueto San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto will face live batters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John Surgery last season.

This is an absolutely huge next step for the former All-Star as he makes his way back on to the MLB bump.

Cueto, 33, has been out since late July of last season since pulling up lame in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

This could also be huge news for the streaking Giants. They were seemingly in trade-now mode just a couple weeks ago. But having won 16 of their past 19 games, that might have changed heading into next week’s trade deadline.

Cueto has pitched to a 29-15 record with a 3.45 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in parts of three seasons with the Giants. His best performance came with the Cincinnati Reds back in 2014, when Cueto posted a 20-9 record with a 2.25 ERA en route to finishing second in the NL Cy Young voting.

In terms of a timeline, Cueto will need an extensive minor league rehab stint before the Giants even think about activating him. But he could return here soon.