Cueto had expressed interest in pitching for his country, but the Reds brass including manger Dusty Baker, were concerned. During the playoffs last year Cueto injured his oblique during Game 1 of the NLDS in San Francisco. The injury allowed Cincinnati to block Cueto from pitching in the WBC.
The Reds need Cueto to stay healthy as his 19-9 record and 2.78 ERA helped Cincinnati to its second playoff berth in three years. In 2011 Cueto missed the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury. He did not appear until May 8 and went 9-5 with a 2.31 ERA, but had his season cut short with another injury on Sept. 14.
Cincinnati is allowing Joey Votto to play in the WBC for Canada despite the fact that Votto missed a majority of the second half. He initially injured his knee sliding in San Francisco, but returned after two days off and played in nine games before missing 49 more games.
Brandon Phillips will also be representing the United States in the WBC which begins on March 2.