By Grant Freking
Johnny “Little Tiant” Cueto is quietly having a spectacular season. If he had enough innings to qualify, he’d be the NL ERA leader at 1.84. The same goes for WHIP (walks times hits divided by innings pitched). He should have more than five wins (hard luck loser against Atlanta, bullpen blew games against Tampa Bay and Los Angeles).
At a time where the Reds rotation is anything but settled, Cueto has been a pillar of stability this season. Who knows what his numbers would be had he not started the season on the disabled list (his first start came on May 8). Opponents are hitting just .189 off of him and a measly .140 with runners in scoring position.
If Cueto keeps this up, perhaps the Reds can cross off “top-flight starter” off their needs list and instead focus on their black holes in left field and shortstop. Moreover, if Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Edinson Volquez can find their way in addition to Mike Leake staying sharp, perhaps the Reds can be better than average in the second half of 2011, something they were the pinnacle of in the first half.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.