John Fay has an article on Johnny Cueto’s potential. Mario Soto thinks a lot of him:
Johnny Cueto is this year’s Homer Bailey. He’s got the big arm. He’s got the great minor-league stats.
But until he took the mound Monday for a bullpen session at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, a lot of people in camp had not seen him throw.
Cueto lived up to his scouting report.
His motion is effortless, but his fastball has good zip on it. He’s right around the plate with all of his pitches.
“He’s definitely close,” Reds Hall of Famer Mario Soto said. “Look at what he did at Triple-A. It all depends on how fast the team wants to move with him. He could help the team now.”
The one concern with Cueto is his size. He’s 5-foot-10, 183 pounds – not the prototypical size for a right-handed starter.
But Soto, who was dominant at 6 feet, 185 pounds, doesn’t see that as a problem.
“He’s strong,” Soto said. “That’s what you look for. He works hard at it.”
Cueto called catcher Alvin Colina over to interpret for an interview because he doesn’t speak English well.
“Only a little bit,” Cueto said.
Does he think he can make the team?
“Yes, I do,” he says.
What does he have to do to do that?
“Keep my pitches down in the strike zone,” he said. “I throw a lot of fastballs. Sometimes I elevate my pitches. I’ve got to keep the ball down.”
That’s classic pitcher-speak, which is fitting because even though he’s young, Cueto is considered a pitcher, not a thrower.
“He commands all three pitches,” Soto said. “Fastball, slider, change-up.”
Cueto is not overpowering on every pitch. But he can be.
“He has a tendency – he’ll be pitching along (then) all of a sudden a couple hits, maybe an error – he’s got another notch that he can turn it up to,” Sweet said. “That’s something you don’t see.
“To me, that is what makes him so good is the discrepancy. When I say 88-92 (mph), he’ll pitch at that – not throw – and use all his pitches. Then he’ll turn it up at times. A lot of good pitchers in the big leagues can do that.”
I saw him in ’06 at Dayton quite a bit and saw him once last year in Sarasota. If he were bigger, he’d be getting a lot more national attention. He can pitch and he will help this team at some point.
Also, see this article about Josh Roenicke:
Reds manager Dusty Baker is always talking about finding a player who is not in the plans coming through to help the club.
“You’re always looking for that surprise player,” Baker said.
Right-hander Josh Roenicke, 25, could be that guy this year for the Reds. Roenicke has a major-league pedigree and a 98 mph fastball.
I don’t see him making the team out of spring training, though he could surprise. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was with the Reds before the season was over.
And maybe the biggest story today could be about Joe Nuxhall:
There’s no doubt in the minds of Reds fans that Joe Nuxhall is a Hall of Famer.
He received more than 80,000 votes last year from the public, which put him in a group of 10 broadcasters up for the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence, which will be announced at 2 p.m. today.
The award carries with it a ticket into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
I sincerely hope that Joe is given the Frick Award. I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute.