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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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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Uh-oh Cueto

Johnny Cueto hit a little bump in the road.

He allowed five runs on three hits in two-thirds of inning. He simply could not command any of his pitches. He walked five, including pitcher Matt Garza on four pitches.

He gave up a double to Akinori Iwamura to start the game. He walked Carl Crawford on five pitches. Carlos Pena hit one out to left-center. Cueto then got a pair of groundouts. But he walked the nerxt two hitters. Joel Guzman followed with a two-run double. Cueto then walked Garza. When Iwamura walked, Dusty Baker came out and got Cueto.

41 pitches/18 strikes.


at 1:44 PM Blogger The Dunce Cap Marvel said...

I wonder if this affects the order of the rotation at all or is it too late in the game to shuffle it up again?

at 1:54 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

OH MY! It always amazes me to see a guy just completely lose his command like this and yet you'll see it happen EVERY year to dozens of guys. I've been a BIG time Cueto backer since I saw him pitch in Louisville last year and I don't think he ever had an outig like this last year at all. I'm guessing he'll bounce back and be just fine next outing as long as it is not injury related. I hope that is not the case.

If anyone deserves a pass on 1 bad outing it's Cueto and I'm personally happy to see it during ST than the regular season.

at 1:59 PM Blogger Laura said...

That was pretty painful.

Heck, right now the whole game is pretty painful.

at 2:13 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

From Espn.com---
Some city leaders in a Phoenix suburb are having second thoughts about spending $33 million for a new ballpark to lure the Cincinnati Reds to a new spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz.

“The issue is the money,” said Councilwoman Joanne Osborne, who opposes paying for the new facilities. “It’s about priorities. We don’t have a downtown. We don’t have a library. We don’t have the things our citizens want and have asked for.”

The Reds, whose current spring training home is in Sarasota, Fla., are interested in joining the Cactus League in 2010, but four Goodyear City Council members must agree to pay for the team’s training facilities. Only three are on board.

Work has already begun in Goodyear on a stadium and practice facility for the Indians, who will move there next year from Winter Haven, Fla. To bring in the Indians, Goodyear split the $75 million cost for that project with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.
– The Associated Press

at 2:22 PM Blogger MJ said...

You cannot jump off the kids bandwagon just after one bad start. He was bound to have one sooner than later.

at 2:22 PM Blogger MJ said...

You cannot jump off the kids' bandwagon just after one bad start. He was bound to have one sooner than later.

at 2:49 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Maybe the Reds will have to form their own Arizona town, let's say Goodrich, to get a deal like the Indians got.

at 2:57 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I don't think this single outing hurts Cueto's chances to much, but lends more credence to the idea that Fogg has to be in the pen. Someone has to be in the pen with the ability to deliver 3, 4 or even 5 innings every now and then.

at 3:06 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

Is Mrs Osborne of Goodyear related to a certian councilwoman in Sarasota? Isn't this the same thing that basically happened in Sarasota?

One bad outing by Cueto in my mind doesn't effect the rotation at all. As I stated before, unless there is an injury that was causing his loss of command I expect to see Cueto bounce back next outing.

at 3:29 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Better that he has this now than in the regular season. Now they can work on what he needs to improve. But man, that's a bad outing!

at 3:32 PM Blogger R said...

This can happen when you have media hype over a small sample size. We'll see if he can bounce back in a few days.

at 3:38 PM Blogger MJ said...

Its also possible they may need to propose some funds for community projects to help the town.

at 3:55 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

i think its good in the big picture of things when a guy that has been rollin' gets knocked down a bit. now he has to adjust to failure, and leave no stone unturned in finding what will help him get guys out the best. harang got beat up a little early in spring, and i'd be worried if he didn't.

at 4:06 PM Blogger Bill of Richmond said...

I thought it was usual for starters to have a "dead arm" start in the spring. Plus he pitch Winter ball. Maybe that's all it is.

at 4:07 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Any word on Ross's performance today?

at 4:13 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

its spring training..does not matter

lets discuss his progress, or lack of, at the end of June

at 4:51 PM Blogger MJ said...

This was exactly the outing he needed though. With all the hype he needs to stay grounded and continue to improve. This is exactly the type of outing he needed so that Dusty can see how well he responds to adversity. How he bounces back and I have all the confidence he will, tells us whether or not he's what we think he is. He's had a very impressive spring so this means little. How he bounces back means allot.

at 6:17 PM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...

I'm all for Cueto, but, I have to admit, I find it amusing how we dismiss his bad start, but, jump all over Homer Bailey everytime he's less than terrific. Try to keep in mind that both of them are only 21 years old. Here's hoping that BOTH of them become great.

at 6:53 PM Blogger Ron said...

Johnny, welcome to the dead arm portion of spring training. red faced has it right, it happens EVERY year to many players ... even the top tier pitchers. This outing is typical of many in spring training this time of year. He just needs to learn how to adapt the way Arroyo did in his last start. He struggled too but knows how to minimize the damage.

at 7:43 PM Blogger TowerOfPower said...

Should Have traded him for Blanton.

/not really

at 8:21 PM Blogger smtides said...

Went to the game today. Cueto was bad. He had no idea where the ball was going when it left his hand. He was visibly frustrated, The umpire was REALLY tight with the strike zone, but Garza was able to handle it pretty well.

I thought it was interesting and good to see that the entire Reds infield came to the mound when Dusty pulled Cueto and gave him what looked like a big pep talk. EE, Castro, Philips, Valentin and Votto all patted him on the back. And Pole spent a good inning or two with him in the dugout.

Some other observations: Castro had two really good AB's with a double and single, Dunn and Encarnacion are really struggling, Griffey and Votto looked locked in (yes, I know Votto's average doesn't reflect that).

Brower looks Louisville bound, Mercker looked great and locked up Carlos Pena on a nasty 3-2 slider, Bray was so-so and Affeldt got hit hard.

at 10:05 PM Blogger David Hartman said...

Granderson on the shelf for a couple of weeks, I'd be willing to send them Ryan Freel for say, Joel Zumaya :)

at 11:03 PM Blogger R said...

No evidence to support dead arm. When you have 5 walks in 2/3 of an inning, clearly you don't have your control. That's more conducive of giving up runs than a few MPH off of the fastball.

at 11:06 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

John, I listened to most of the game via the WLW feed on MLB.com Audio and Marty mentioned that there was to be someone else released after the game today but that the Reds would not announce it prior to the game. Have you heard anything about who this person will be? I don't recall Marty actually stating it was to be a pitcher but that was the assumption if I'm not mistaken.

at 11:11 PM Blogger Longtime Reds Fan said...

Hey John,

I do not think there is much to worry about this kid. There are going to be bumps in the road going with the youg guns and people are going to have to live with. Cincinnati will just have to take it easy on them. They are going to be are future. My other statment for John is if the Reds are inquiring about Jeff Clement out in Seattle his young and seems to be big league ready. But like Bruce he is stuck behind some people. I can see sending Freel and Belisle for him. What do you think about that?

at 11:11 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

OK never mind, just learned that the secret cut after the game was Ryan Hanigan who obviously isn't a pitcher for us.

at 11:38 PM Blogger Ron said...

Dead arm doesnt translate to MPH, it translates to control. Ask any major league pitcher past and present, most all will tell you they have experienced it in some form or another.

at 12:04 AM Blogger MJ said...

Not familiar with Joel Zumaya.

at 8:27 AM Blogger Laura said...

MJ, I'm not sure who you were addressing with the bandwagon comment, but I wasn't doing any jumping. Just stating that it was painful, which it was.

at 10:15 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

i think you all are pretty goofy..its spring training..so what if a player has a bad outing?

at 12:05 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

Jack in STL,

Bailey has been hit hard on multiple occassions in multiple scenarios such as in Philadelphia in the Bigs and in Sarasota in Spring Training. This is the first time Cueto has been hit hard in years, if ever in his pro career. With that said, Fogg opened the door for someone to take his spot, and if Bailey is sharp then who knows, but I highly doubt it. Even last outing when he had some control over his pitches, he went 4 but he didn't rack up any strikeouts. Pitching evaluators will tell you, if he can strike big league hitters out, he can get guys out in the big leagues. Bailey's not doing that, so he's likely to go to Louisville, but a rotation with

Fogg as the Long man

That would be interesting to see.

at 12:24 PM Blogger MJ said...

Not addressing any one person with that comment Laura and certainly wasn't trying to be provocative either. My point was that just because Cueto had a bad outing doesn't necessaryly mean we need to utter Uh Ohs! Bailey is a different case entirely. He's struggled with his command and his off speed stuff for 2 seasons now. Up till the other day Cueto has not had any command issues. Clearly he was just rattled and will be fine. If anything this will make him a much better battle tested pitcher and just another step in his evolution.

at 12:27 PM Blogger MJ said...

Longtime Redsfan where did you read that the Reds were inquiring about Seattle's Jeff Clement?

at 1:56 PM Blogger MJ said...

I'm telling you until Bailey gets command of his off speed stuff and starts throwing it with more effectiveness I don't care how good his fastball is he won't find regular success and stick in the majors. Right now he's a one pitch wonder and they're sitting on his fastball because they know he doesn't have good off speed stuff. This hasn't been the issue with Cueto. He's had exceptional command all spring till yesterday. Chalk it up to a bad day which everyone has, nothing more. He's so mad at himself right now I'll be surprised if he allows a run his next time out.

at 2:22 PM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...


Bailey made 9 starts last year for the Reds, and, had 6 quality starts and a 4-2 record. If you consider that during two of his starts he had a groin problem, his numbers wouldn't look all that bad for a first time rookie.

Also, Bailey did not pitch Winter Ball this past season, and Cueto and Volquez did. That accounts for him being a bit behind those two, IMO. I'm rooting for all 3 of them to be studs, but, I think Bailey is getting shortchanged a bit by people on here.

at 2:32 PM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...

This doesn't sound like he's exactly struggled for two seasons. His AAA numbers look pretty darn good....

His record at Louisville, 6 wins, 3losses, ERA of 3.07, 67.1 innings, only 49 hits, 59 K's and, yes, 32 walks is a bit high. Opponents only hit .204 against him.

And, I know his numbers is AA were outstanding.

at 2:41 PM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...

More Bailey

in his 9 starts the Reds went 5-4 and scored 49 runs...in 3 of his 9 starts was the victim of blown saves...began the year at Louisville and went 6-1, 2.31 in 10starts before he was promoted........

at 2:48 PM Blogger MJ said...

Bailey has had all off season to improve his off speed stuff. He could have chosen to play Winter Ball as well to improve that but didn't. We're down to the last week of spring and his command has barely made marginal improvement so how is he exactly getting a raw deal? You have to go with the ones who are shinning the brightest. Clearly he has command issues and isn't ready yet.

at 2:50 PM Blogger MJ said...

The Minors are full of potential. Just because you do well against AAA hitters doesn't make you Mario Soto or Jose Rio.

at 4:33 PM Blogger Jack in St. Louis said...

I believe that the Reds did not want Bailey pitching Winter Ball because of his groin problem. Or, am I just imagining that? And, yes, minor league doesn't necessarily project to major league. But, if you want to only use major league numbers, then Volquez' numbers haven't been good either. I'm only saying that these are young guys, and it isn't fair to only point to Bailey's poor outings and not to those of others.

at 4:45 PM Blogger MJ said...

Whether or not Bailey pitched winter ball isn't the issue here. He was healthy by the end of the season and could have. The problem is he had all winter to work out and improve his off speed stuff in whatever way he chose. He didn't and it shows. I'm a Bailey guy but IMHO he hasn't earned a spot on this team. Volquez has the command and is effectively throwing all 4 of his pitches. Bailey hasn't done that yet. Till he does he won't be nothing more than insurance and trade bait. I think he's being showcased tonight. I have a feeling he's about to be traded.

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