The Reds have dropped injured ace Johnny Cueto from their division series roster, replacing him with right-hander Mike Leake for Game 4 against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Major League Baseball granted permission for the move at 11:30 a.m., less than five hours before the first pitch.
Cueto pulled muscles in his side during the first inning of the series opener Saturday night. The Reds had been hoping he'd improve enough to be able to pitch again. The Reds lead the best-of-five series 2-1.
The move Wednesday means the 19-game winner won't be allowed to pitch in the NL championship series if the Reds get that far. General manager Walt Jocketty says Cueto probably would have been limited to one start anyway.