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OnBaseMachine
05-26-2006, 01:03 PM
Dragons' Cueto throws another gem
Right-hander extends scoreless streak to 19 innings
By Daren Smith / MLB.com

Johnny Cueto continued his remarkable run for the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night.

Cueto ran his scoreless streak to 19 innings with seven frames of two-hit ball as the Dragons held on for a 3-2 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks at Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium.

The 20-year-old right-hander has been virtually unhittable in his last three starts, limiting Midwest League foes to three hits and two walks while striking out 22. He has not lost since April 10 and has not given up a run since May 8 against Cedar Rapids.

Cueto (5-1) surrendered five runs in his first start of the season but has yielded only eight since, lowering his ERA to 2.49. Opponents are hitting just .151 against him, a figure that drops to .106 on the road.

Against South Bend, a team that was held to one hit by West Michigan in its last game on Tuesday, Cueto gave up a two-out single to Trey Hendricks in the second inning before retiring the next 13 batters. The string was broken by Leyson Septimo's leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh.

As soon as Cueto exited, the Silver Hawks sliced their deficit to 3-2. Ricardo Sosa delivered a two-out double off reliever Logan Ondrusek and Frank Curreri followed with his first homer of the season. Pinch-hitter Greg Thomson greeted reliever Blake Hendley with another double, but Pedro Ciriaco flied out to end the threat.

Hendley gave up a leadoff single to Septimo in the ninth but got 2005 top overall draft pick Justin Upton to hit into a double play, then retired Bryan Byrne on a groundout for his 11th save.

Habelito Hernandez staked Cueto to an early lead with a two-run homer, his first, in the second. The Dragons got a key insurance run in the eighth on Brandon Szymanski's RBI double.

All three runs were charged with South Bend starter Cody Evans (1-6), who gave up five hits and two walks while striking out five. The 22-year-old right-hander has lost his last three starts.

Daren Smith is a staff writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060525&content_id=83924&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/images/2006/05/25/XBbaHzeO.jpg
Midwest League opponents are hitting just .151 against Johnny Cueto. (Dayton Dragons)

NJReds
05-26-2006, 01:12 PM
Sounds like it might be time for a promotion soon.

Joseph
05-26-2006, 01:19 PM
Its time for some of these promising young arms to start to continue to prove talent as they move up. Based on our history I have to temper my enthusiasm for things like this, but I'd love to see guys like he and Homer and Wood progress and grow.

rdiersin
05-26-2006, 01:25 PM
The one thing that kind of struck me about watching him last night, and maybe some people in Dayton that get to see him more than me can tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems that he might be a bit of a perfectionist. You could see him get upset on the mound, and not at the umps or anyone else, it was after he made a bad pitch. I'm not talking about making a bad pitch to walk a guy, but a bad pitch to make the count 1-2 or 2-2, or something like that. If he did something he didn't think he should do, he was visibly upset with himself. I think that's a good thing, but I guess it could be a bad thing too.

klw
05-26-2006, 06:18 PM
No hitter
1 hitter
2 hitter

I don't like this regression pattern. What's next? three hitter. Sheesh.

Doc. Scott
05-26-2006, 08:03 PM
Here's Dragons announcer Mike Vanderwood talking about Mr. Cueto on MLB's Around the Minors:

http://dds.mlb.com/mp3/minors/052606_minors.mp3

Starts about 38 minutes in, runs until about 46 minutes.

Vanderwood compares his control to Greg Maddux and mentions Mario Soto working with Johnny on a circle change in spring training. Johnny Almaraz signed him out of the Dominican based on watching him in a pickup game.

Mike also talks about Paul Janish, Jay Bruce, BJ Szymanski (described as "interesting"), and Travis Wood and his great changeup and 88-89 mph fastball (told you).

M2
05-27-2006, 03:17 PM
Cueto's the best story in the farm system so far. Maybe BA will finally take notice and rank him on the prospect hot sheet.

As for promoting him, why not just enjoy a good thing instead? He's 20 years-old. Prior to this season he'd only thrown 49 unremarkable innings in professional baseball (43 IP of it in the GCL). This isn't a race. Cueto's got all kinds of maturing to do. He has to learn to adjust to hitters who've adjusted to him. He has to learn how to cope with a heavier workload. One thing I'd really like to see the Reds allow their young arms to learn is how to cope with success. It's a lesson no Reds farm arm has been allowed to learn in ages.

I'd keep Cueto exactly where he is and allow him to learn at a level where he can thrive, only promoting him for maybe two or three starts at the end of August.

Caveat Emperor
05-27-2006, 05:03 PM
Cueto's the best story in the farm system so far. Maybe BA will finally take notice and rank him on the prospect hot sheet.

As for promoting him, why not just enjoy a good thing instead? He's 20 years-old. Prior to this season he'd only thrown 49 unremarkable innings in professional baseball (43 IP of it in the GCL). This isn't a race. Cueto's got all kinds of maturing to do. He has to learn to adjust to hitters who've adjusted to him. He has to learn how to cope with a heavier workload. One thing I'd really like to see the Reds allow their young arms to learn is how to cope with success. It's a lesson no Reds farm arm has been allowed to learn in ages.

I'd keep Cueto exactly where he is and allow him to learn at a level where he can thrive, only promoting him for maybe two or three starts at the end of August.

Absolutely agree. At 20 years old you can theoretically keep him for a full year in low A and still have him on track to break through to the big leagues by age 23-24. He's a smaller guy, so the Reds should take care not to force him up the ladder and cause him to push himself at the next level. Let him get confidence in his stuff, dominate, and be mentally ready to take the next step.

Plus, a year of dominance puts him on the national radar for next year and increases his trade value exponentially if the Reds decide to go that route

dougdirt
05-27-2006, 06:27 PM
This is from Marc Lancaster and an article he wrote in the Post


FARM FACTS - It seems like Johnny Cueto came out of the nowhere, but the young Dominican continues to rack up impressive outings for Dayton.

The 20-year-old right-hander threw seven shutout innings Thursday night, the third consecutive start in which he has held an opponent scoreless. In 19 innings over that span, Cueto has allowed three hits, walked two and struck out 22.

According to assistant director of player development Grant Griesser, Cueto was throwing 90-94 mph Thursday night, and working consistently at 92-93.

"He's bucking for a promotion," said Krivsky.

He may not get one right away, though. Entering this season, Cueto had made only two appearances above the Rookie-ball level, both for Sarasota last season. In fact, last year was his first in the United States. He pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2004 after Johnny Almaraz signed him in March.


http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060527/SPT05/605270387/1035

SunDeck
05-28-2006, 02:16 PM
It's a nice problem to have, trying to decide whether to push the kid up the ladder so early. But for goodness sakes, I hope the FO acts like they've been there before and gives him some time. I'd like to see him face some lineups again at least.