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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Johnny B. good

Johnny Cueto (yes, his middle initial is B for Brent) is pitching very well in the Dominican Winter League. He's 4-1 with 2.84 ERA in six starts for Aguilas. He's allowed 31 hits in 31 2/3 innings. Most impressive: 37 strikeouts, seven walks.

Given that the Reds move slowly with young pitchers, I would not expect Cueto to make the club out of spring training. But he seems to be the kind of guy who adjusts to his playing level quickly.

Rick Sweet, the Louisville manager, just raved about the kid. Cueto pitches in the 90-92 range, but he'll throw one 96, 97 when he needs to. It's going to be interesting to see how the Reds handle him.


at 12:50 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

For those of us who have not seen Cueto pitch yet he is a pleasure to watch. This guy will be the ace of our rotation in a couple of years. The Reds would be crazy (and stupid) to trade him for ANYONE this off season. Realistically speaking he's further along than Bailey and should start for the Reds next year out of spring training, although I don't see that happening.

at 12:50 PM Anonymous the ghost of pitchers past said...

The institutional incompetence in developing pitching has hampered the Reds for a generation. This kid needs to be eased into the majors, which means doing the exact opposite with him than what they did with Bailey. No matter how desperate they are for starters, when Cueto comes up to the bigs, it needs to be in the bullpen.

at 1:06 PM Blogger mexicanred said...

Cueto is amazing. He´s the next Mario Soto. His 37 K´s and only 7 walks are impressive, but even more impressive is his 1.42 GO/AO.
Those numbers are great for GABP.
By the way I heard that Soto is helping Him down in the Dominican.

at 1:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about the number of innings Cueto's pitched. What's the Reds' policy on this, John?

at 1:33 PM Anonymous Eric said...

Cueto has it all. Sound mechanics, smooth delivery and has excellent control. He changes speeds effectively, throws his pitches off the same plane and IMO is a better version of Francisco Liriano. Just keep him away from Tom Browning and Mac Jenkins in Spring Training and this kid will be fine.

at 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood why Cueto wasn't brought up before Baily.

at 2:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe the number of people who bring his name up in trade talks. One of the most glaring weaknesses in the Reds staff is that they are all RHP. They need LHP balance. Trading Cueto, unless they get an established LHP in return, is insanity.

at 3:35 PM Blogger JS said...

John...I know this is NOT on topic....but did you see the Redsfest list is updated with Dunn and Harang?

Any clue on how they are going to do Autograph's this year?

at 3:58 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The autograph system will be the as last year. Dunn is there Friday only.

at 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too would have to question why he's pitching in Winter ball?? Wayne's excuse for not bringing him up in September was because he had thrown all the innings they wanted him to throw, yet now we learn he's logging innings in the South, and risking injury???

Am I the only who thinks this makes no sense??

at 10:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he does make it,I would hope they would put him in the 5th spot,limit him to six innings and let him be.

Putting him in the bullpen makes no sense to me. He's projected as a starter,thats what he should do.

at 9:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Reds Fest.... John do you or anyone else know if they will air some coverage on FSN like last year, or on Reds.com? It is neat to watch some of the Q & A sessions and such.

at 11:04 AM Anonymous Flash said...


I just read that Erik Bedard and Dan Haren are available. Possible that Wayne goes for one of them?

at 11:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change Cueto and Hamilton for Haren. 1# started and cheap.

at 12:01 PM Anonymous my arm hurts said...

Putting Cueto in the bullpen makes complete sense. It's actually a pretty common way to break in a young arm, although a bit of luxury since most teams are desperate for starters. This is what the Yankees are doing with Joba Chamberlain, what the Twins did with Santana and what he Red Sox were going to do it with Pappelbon. It's an easy way to get a young pitcher's feet wet without putting too much pressure on him - like the Reds did with Bailey by turning his first start into a circus and creating unrealistic expectations for him.

at 2:56 PM Blogger Phill said...

Dodgers did it with Chad Billingsly, Twins did it with Francisco Liriano.

Like you said it's very common and more of having the luxury of not needed to put the pressure on those young guys' backs and let them get some experience.

at 8:13 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Putting these young guys in the pen to start their careers has been going on since the dawn of time. The point is not about breaking them in as starters, but to get them enough innings to get their feet wet and adapt more easily to the MLB culture.

It's not that big of a deal. As someone else mentioned, pitching is so thin these days because of so many teams that these guys are not only tossed into the rotation out of necessity, but don't have the 200-300 innings they'd prefer for them to have in the minors.

Most managers and pitching coaches would love the luxury of easing in their best pitching talent.

at 8:55 PM Blogger Adam said...

The Reds have to make a move. Think of all the position players: Votto, Bruce, Hatteberg, Dunn, Hamilton, Freel, Hopper, Gonzo, Phillips, Edwin, Jr., Cantu, and Castro (I think that is all of them). That is 13, and pretty much all of them can be everyday players, except maybe Castro (of course, we all know Freel and Jr. will get hurt, but that is another story).

They need to trade one really good or with great potential or two marginal position players along with a young pitcher for a #2 or #3 starter. Hamilton and Gonzo for a #2 or #3 would be ideal. I don't think Freel or Gonzo really have much trade value.

Honestly, I would trade Dunn immediately for a #2 starter. I think that makes the Reds immediate NL Central contenders.

That, or trade Hamilton. I think he is very questionably - injuries, personal issues, etc. He is probably at the highest value right now, and the Reds have Hopper and Freel to cover center.

at 10:09 PM Anonymous Chris said...

OK, enough of this nonsense. There is no one "right way" to bring along a pitcher. For every Santana or Chamberlin, there is a Cole Hamels or Erik Bedard. It all really depends on the development of the kid and the circumstances of the team. It is ludicrous to believe that IF ONLY things were done a certain way we'd have an unending stable of young pitchers ready to become studs for us. Folks, the fact is that people were clamoring for Homer two years ago when the Reds were in it in September. I prefer to leave the baseball decisions to the people who are paid to make them and then choose whether or not I support the product on the field. Personally, I am glad that we finally have some youngsters coming along that we can buzz about.

at 10:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

More often than not pitchers who are starters in the minors stay starters throughout their first few years in the bigs. Its the pitchers make up that decides if he fails or prospers as a starter. Not if he is in the bullpen or not.

at 2:09 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...


Any chance Bill Bray ends up as a starting pitcher?

at 3:28 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Doubtful. He's never started a pro game. He was a closer in college as well. Given his struggle with injuries last year, I don't think they'd risk it.

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