Dusty on Cueto
There's a lot of spring training to go. But it sounds like Dusty Baker wants Johnny Cueto in his rotation. A sample of the what Baker said about Cueto, the 22-year-old right-hander, today:
"Who's looked better than him?"
On making the big leagues after so little Triple-A time: "Everybody doesn't have to go through the natural progression, especially pitchers. Hitters have more they have to work on."
"If you have good stuff, you can make hitters swing and miss and foul off pitches off. Ninety-five is 95. Ninety-five with location, boy."
It was pointed out that Cueto hit 97. "I believe that -- 97 with location and nasty change-up and slider."
Again, it's early so ratings can change quickly, but here's how the starters in competition for the rotation -- Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are off the board -- have looked:
2. Josh Fogg
3. Homer Bailey
4. Edinson Volquez
5. Jeremy Affeldt
6. Matt Belisle
7. Matt Maloney
Past perfromance will be a factor in who makes it, of course. No one but Maloney has pitched their way out of the race. It will be interesting from here on out. Affeldt is going to make the team but he could be shifted to the bullpen. Same goes for Volquez.