Johnny Cueto threw 30 pitches in a simulated game at Great American Ball Park on Sunday.
Cueto is on his third stint on the disabled list. He was placed on the DL on June 28.
"Cueto looked very good," Dusty Baker said of the simulated game in which Ryan Ludwick and Xavier Paul hit off Cueto. "He was very sharp for the amount of time he's been off. His mechanics are so sound. He's not too far off."
"We will see how Cueto comes out of this," Baker said. "He will probably throw one more simulated game before the Reds deem him fit to pitch."
The Reds have talked about Cueto working out of the bullpen rather than the starting rotation.
Paul said the Reds' ace was nearly ready.
"Cueto was throwing really good. He used all his pitches - the cutter, the change, the ball was really heavy," Paul said. "He nearly broke my bat."
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