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OnBaseMachine
04-04-2008, 08:32 PM
Young fireballers spaced out in rotation
Veteran Fogg to separate hard-throwing Cueto, Volquez
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- There were many reasons behind Reds manager Dusty Baker's decision to split up his rotation's dynamic Dominican duo, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez.

Cueto, Cincinnati's No. 3 starter, was scheduled to be followed on Friday night by veteran Josh Fogg. Volquez was named the fifth starter out of camp.

"No. 1, we wanted to separate them because they throw very similar," Baker said. "You want maybe someone a little softer in between. [Otherwise] it makes it easier on the hitter to adjust to the second game. I remember the Astros separated J.R. [Richard] and Nolan [Ryan] with Joe Niekro in the middle. You'd rather face both of them back to back because your bat is already turned up for that kind of philosophy."

Cueto was sensational in Major League debut Thursday, going seven innings and striking out ten against no walks in a 3-2 win over Arizona. Because of an off day on Tuesday and the need to keep ace Aaron Harang on his usual rest, Volquez won't make his first start until Sunday, when he will face the Phillies.

Both right-handed pitchers, Cueto and Volquez both feature 94-96 mph fastballs with heavy movement and nasty changeups. With two young guys who throw heat, Baker doesn't want any friendly but competitive battles of "top this."

"One tends not to outpitch, but one tends to outthrow the other," Baker said of youthful pitchers in general. "For a young pitcher, one of the worst things that came into the game, although it's good for the fans, is that radar gun up there. I see guys rubbing up the ball and turn around to see what their velocity was. Some stadiums mess with it and turn the velocity down."

The Reds' general rotation order is Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg and Volquez. The final three spots were settled during Spring Training after an open competition.

"When they're young, you don't want them to have bad outings, back-to-back, and then get deep in the bullpen for those days," Baker said. "It puts more pressure on Harang to go deep into a game to give the bullpen a rest."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080404&content_id=2491850&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

OnBaseMachine
04-05-2008, 12:47 AM
The pressure is on

By Hal McCoy | Friday, April 4, 2008, 06:40 PM

Edinson Volquez smiled broadly when somebody told him the only way he can beat what teammate Johnny Cueto did was to throw a no-hitter.

“I’m going to try,” he said.

Volquez makes his debut for the Cincinnati Reds Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, but it isn’t his major-league debut. He started six games last year for the Texas Rangers and was 2-1 with a 4.50 earned run average, striking out 29 but walking 15 in 34 innings.

Cueto’s one-hitter (no walks, 10 strikeouts) was his major-league debut Thursday and impressed Volquez the same way it impressed everybody - but it wasn’t surprising to Volquez.

Although both are Dominicans, Volquez didn’t know Cueto until this spring when the two young players were part of the Latin Quarter table in the middle of the clubhouse usually occupied by Francisco Cordero, Juan Castro and Javier Valentin.

“I don’t know if I can do what Johnny did, but hell yeah, I’m going to try,” said Volquez, who speaks solid English, including swear words, while Cueto does not.

“It was amazing to see a guy making his major-league debut get 10 strikeouts,” said Volquez. “No walks. One run. One hit. Unbelievable. I’d like to do the same thing, that’s for sure.”

Judging by spring training, Volquez is perfectly capable..

“If Johnny and me can do good the whole season, it is going to be very good for this team, with Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo,” said Volquez. “We put everything together and it is going to be a great season.

“I started saying good things about Johnny in spring training,” said Volquez. “I didn’t know him in the Dominican, but I saw him pitch a couple of times and I said, ‘Man, this guy can pitch.’ Then I saw him in spring training, didn’t know he was on our team, and said, ‘He has good stuff. He is still young, but this kid pitches like he has been in the majors for 10 years.’

“That’s different from me,” Volquez added. “My first year in the big leagues I was wild and pitched like a rookie, but Johnny is like he has been in the big leagues 10 years. When he gave up the home run to lose his no-hitter and shutout, he just acted like, ‘Give me a new ball and I’ll get the rest of these guys out.’ And he did.”

Wisely, manager Dusty Baker split up Cueto and Volquez in the rotation so they wouldn’t pitch back-to-back.

“They throw very similar, so you want somebody who throws a little softer (Josh Fogg) in between,” said Baker. “It makes it tougher on the hitters to adjust to the second guy. I remember when the Houston Astros separated J.R. Richard and Nolan Ryan (both threw 100 miles an hour) with Joe Niekro (knuckleballer) in the middle.”

Somebody said, “That’s not fair,” and Baker said, “Yeah, you tell ‘em that. You’d rather face J.R. and Nolan back-to-back because your bat the second night is already tuned up to the high velocity.

“Also, I didn’t want them back-to-back because one tends to try to out throw the other,” Baker added. “That’s one reason I separated them, plus when they’re young you don’t want to take a chance of them having back-to-back bad outings and have to use up my bullpen. Then that puts pressure on Aaron Harang to go deeper into the game to give the bullpen a rest.”

One could almost smell the brain cells burning on this issue and Baker smiled and said, “Oh, yeah, there was some thought processing going into this.”

http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/

OnBaseMachine
04-05-2008, 12:51 AM
Dayton personnel excited for Cueto
Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Saturday, April 05, 2008

MIDLAND, Mich. — Johnny Cueto's major-league debut not only energized the Reds, his success was felt throughout the organization.

"I pitched with him a little in Sarasota last year," said Kevin Gunter, with the Dragons. "You might hit him in the first inning, but then he'd get mad, and you wouldn't hit him again. He has electric stuff.

"You feel a little extra when you see him pitch like that."

Dragons manager Donnie Scott, who had Cueto with the Dragons in 2006, said, "It's rewarding for everybody. He's one of our own (originally signed by the Reds). For so long, we haven't had any luck developing pitchers for the major-leagues."

Scott's right about that. In the eight previous years of the Dragons, 11 pitchers who served with the Dragons eventually made the majors, none of them with much success at the major-league level, especially as starters. Jose Acevedo and Homer Bailey had some success, but Acevedo is no longer with the organization and Bailey is trying to find consistency at Class AAA Louisville.

Of the others, Todd Coffey has lasted the longest with the Reds, and he struggled last season and in this year's opener as a reliever.

"It's nice to see Johnny (Cueto) get the opportunity," Scott said. "He's got a long way to go, but what a debut. It was a pleasure to be around him as a person."

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/dragons/2008/04/04/ddn040508spdragonsnotes.html

gm
04-05-2008, 12:59 AM
Cueto and Voquez have already lost their focus and are drifting aimlessly?

(oh, you meant the other kind of spaced out...)

Redhook
04-05-2008, 07:44 AM
I like the premise of this idea. However, Arroyo should be splitting them up in the #3 spot. The Reds should be attempting to skip Fogg or whoever is in the #5 spot as much as possible.

puca
04-05-2008, 09:05 AM
I like the premise of this idea. However, Arroyo should be splitting them up in the #3 spot. The Reds should be attempting to skip Fogg or whoever is in the #5 spot as much as possible.

I would like Cueto or Volquez between Harang and Arroyo. It accomplishes a couple of things:
- mixes up the pitching styles
- reduces the risk of going to bullpen early on back-to-back days (the young guys will have their bad days)

And I agree that Fogg should be skipped whenever possible.

mth123
04-05-2008, 09:10 AM
I would like Cueto or Volquez between Harang and Arroyo. It accomplishes a couple of things:
- mixes up the pitching styles
- reduces the risk of going to bullpen early on back-to-back days (the young guys will have their bad days)

And I agree that Fogg should be skipped whenever possible.

Yep. I've been saying Cueto should be between Harang and Arroyo but Volquez there is next best.

MartyFan
04-05-2008, 09:32 AM
Yep. I've been saying Cueto should be between Harang and Arroyo but Volquez there is next best.

Love that idea too...

Big Klu
04-05-2008, 10:42 AM
Cueto and Voquez have already lost their focus and are drifting aimlessly?

(oh, you meant the other kind of spaced out...)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/Beavis_and_Butt-head.jpg

"Fire!...Fire!"

"Heh-heh, heh...they said 'ball'!"


:D

Hoosier Red
04-05-2008, 10:48 AM
After this first week Fogg is the #5 starter anyway. He just happened to get the start Friday after Opening Day.

As it lines up,
Harang #1 today
Volquez #2 tomorrow
Arroyo #3 Monday
Cueto #4 Tuesday
Fogg # 5 Wednesday

Lather rinse repeat

BCubb2003
04-05-2008, 12:23 PM
From Volquez's quotes, he sounds like a pretty sharp guy.

redsrule2500
04-05-2008, 01:01 PM
Woah, why is Harang pitching today?!

Big Klu
04-05-2008, 01:23 PM
Woah, why is Harang pitching today?!

Because it's his turn. He pitched Monday, he's had four days off, so it's his turn again.

Unassisted
04-05-2008, 01:33 PM
That Astros' staff Dusty mentioned in the OP was usually killer on the Reds. I wish the Reds had Joe Niekro in the middle of their rotation.

StillFunkyB
04-05-2008, 03:54 PM
First thing I thought of when reading the title to this thread...

A turd sandwich still tastes like poo, no matter how good the bread is. ;)

WebScorpion
04-05-2008, 04:06 PM
First thing I thought of when reading the title to this thread...

A turd sandwich still tastes like poo, no matter how good the bread is. ;)
You eat turd sandwiches?!?!? http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/sick014.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Big Klu
04-05-2008, 04:22 PM
You eat turd sandwiches?!?!? http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/sick014.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

Nah, he doesn't like bread. :D

Redhook
04-06-2008, 09:50 AM
As it lines up,
Harang #1 today
Volquez #2 tomorrow
Arroyo #3 Monday
Cueto #4 Tuesday
Fogg # 5 Wednesday



Finally, a legitimate starting rotation. It's about time.