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View Full Version : Johnny Cueto - Ground ball pitcher?



OnBaseMachine
06-15-2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks to Joel Luckhaupt for this stat on Johnny Cueto:

Cueto's ground ball % is ~56% now, which is 11-14% higher than 2010 (depending on source). If it's real, he'd be a top 10 GB pitcher. #Reds

http://twitter.com/jluckhaupt

Is Cueto turning into a ground ball pitcher or is 53.2 innings too small of a sample to go off of? Either way, he looks like a different pitcher this season. Has anyone noticed that his delivery looks a little different? He seems to be rotating further back in his delivery. Whatever he's doing, it's working. He's pitching like the ace the Reds need. He's not going to post a 1.68 ERA all season but a low 3.00's ERA isn't out of the question, IMO.

Homer Bailey
06-15-2011, 12:38 PM
Thanks to Joel Luckhaupt for this stat on Johnny Cueto:

Cueto's ground ball % is ~56% now, which is 11-14% higher than 2010 (depending on source). If it's real, he'd be a top 10 GB pitcher. #Reds

http://twitter.com/jluckhaupt

Is Cueto turning into a ground ball pitcher or is 53.2 innings too small of a sample to go off of? Either way, he looks like a different pitcher this season. Has anyone noticed that his delivery looks a little different? He seems to be rotating further back in his delivery. Whatever he's doing, it's working. He's pitching like the ace the Reds need. He's not going to post a 1.68 ERA all season but a low 3.00's ERA isn't out of the question, IMO.

Last night was the first night that I noticed this. It's almost like he pauses a bit before going plateward.

I liked this article from Redlegnation (http://redlegnation.com/2011/06/15/cuetos-been-lucky-but-hes-still-pretty-good/)that highlights how good AND lucky Cueto has been so far this year:


That said, Iím sure you all see the huge disparity between his ERA and FIP this year. Put simply, batters are only hitting .230 against them when they put the ball in play, and that isnít sustainable. Given his history, I would guess that so far this year, heís something like a 3.20 ERA true talent pitcher. That is very good and pretty much in line with what he did last year when you compare it to the rest of the league. Not quite ace-like, though.

redsmetz
06-15-2011, 12:42 PM
Granted, I only get to see the highlights after the game (essentially all of his K's), but he seems to be getting tremendous movement on his pitches. He absolutely tied a couple of guys in knots last night.

bucksfan2
06-15-2011, 12:45 PM
IMO the biggest difference with Cueto is that he is maturing as a pitcher. He has made huge strides since last season. He no longer is just trying to rare back and throw it past players. He is pitching now instead of throwing. You see his fastball velo sitting in the low 90's with control. He has the ability to dial it up but he doesn't do it as much as he used to.

Superdude
06-15-2011, 12:56 PM
You see his fastball velo sitting in the low 90's with control. He has the ability to dial it up but he doesn't do it as much as he used to.

Outside of the first inning, that was the hardest I've seen Cueto throw in a while. Not sure I'm buying the cruising speed as Welsh puts it.

And yea, I said it last night's in the game thread, but Cueto's definitely rotating back further and pausing now in his delivery. Whatever he's doing, I think it's working out ok.

Caveat Emperor
06-15-2011, 01:13 PM
Cueto's throwing a lot more two-seam fastballs this year, and he's getting tremendous downward motion on his pitches -- especially considering he isn't a tall pitcher and getting the added benefit of the large downward motion on the throw.

You work low in the zone and change speeds effectively, and you'll generate a lot of balls pounded into the ground.

Nasty_Boy
06-15-2011, 01:16 PM
And yea, I said it last night's in the game thread, but Cueto's definitely rotating back further and pausing now in his delivery. Whatever he's doing, I think it's working out ok.

I noticed the exact same thing... I didn't have any video to compare it with, but it looked to me like he was pausing and giving a Luis Tiant-ish turn over his back leg. Not quite the rotation the Tiant had but definately more than I'm used to seeing from Cueto.

NJReds
06-15-2011, 01:30 PM
I noticed the exact same thing... I didn't have any video to compare it with, but it looked to me like he was pausing and giving a Luis Tiant-ish turn over his back leg. Not quite the rotation the Tiant had but definately more than I'm used to seeing from Cueto.

I thought his motion looked different, too. Luis Tiant-lite.

Big Klu
06-15-2011, 08:17 PM
I thought his motion looked different, too. Luis Tiant-lite.

Marty and Jim Kelch made the same comment on the radio broadcast last night.

reds44
06-15-2011, 08:22 PM
I honestly have no idea what he was doing with his throwing motion last night. I've never seen him do that before.

Superdude
06-15-2011, 08:57 PM
I honestly have no idea what he was doing with his throwing motion last night. I've never seen him do that before.

The first time I noticed was Atlanta. I just watched the highlights from his first game back against the Cubs and he looked normal then. I don't know when he made the change, but I've never seen someone totally alter their delivery in the middle of the season before. This could be Brian Price's shining moment if Cueto wins Cy Young.

OnBaseMachine
06-15-2011, 09:05 PM
I noticed it about three or four starts ago. Last night wasn't the first time he started doing it.

RedsManRick
06-15-2011, 10:09 PM
All I know is that Johnny has gone 7+ innings in 4 straight starts and allowed 4 ER over those 4 starts. I'd be curious to see the last time a Reds starter did that.

It seemed like he wasn't overthrowing at all last game, which is usually an issue for him. No overthrowing = keeping the ball down. I think the tweak is allowing him to rely more on his legs.

edabbs44
06-15-2011, 10:44 PM
All I know is that Johnny has gone 7+ innings in 4 straight starts and allowed 4 ER over those 4 starts. I'd be curious to see the last time a Reds starter did that.

Bronson did it in 2009, as part of a much better run.

10 games in a row, 7 or more innings, 13 total runs. Reds were 6-4 in those starts. Yowser.

Superdude
06-15-2011, 11:30 PM
I would love to see someone with some expertise breakdown Cueto's new delivery vs. the old one. Check out his strikeout of Ethier in the fourth inning last night. I don't know anything about pitching mechanics, but from a pure athletic standpoint, the extra turn seems to put Cueto in a great position to really explode towards the plate without having to worry so much about flying open towards first base.

Whoever showed him that move deserves credit, because I don't think don't know if I've ever seen Cueto throw with as much easy velocity and movement as last night.

signalhome
06-16-2011, 12:53 AM
Cueto's throwing a lot more two-seam fastballs this year, and he's getting tremendous downward motion on his pitches -- especially considering he isn't a tall pitcher and getting the added benefit of the large downward motion on the throw.

You work low in the zone and change speeds effectively, and you'll generate a lot of balls pounded into the ground.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=6893&position=P#pitchtype

Looks like those two-seam fastballs have been critical to his success. His wFB/C has never been positive until this year, and now it's a blistering 2.36.

OnBaseMachine
06-26-2011, 02:25 PM
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:


Four hours before Friday's game, Cueto was running steps at the Camden Yards. It's a daily ritual. And it big part of what makes him a potential ace.

"A lot of it is wanting to be the guy," Price said. "He's doing that.

He's becoming a guy who eats up innings and doesn't want to come out of the game because his pitch count is up. He's gotten better at handling the bat. He's one of our better bunters. He's gives you a lot reasons to keep him in the game."



http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110624/SPT04/106250337/Cueto-ace-making?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Reds

I(heart)Freel
06-26-2011, 04:53 PM
From Leatherpants' Twitter:


Reds Chris Heisey told me today that their clubhouse is now calling Johnny Cueto....Hideo Cueto because of his new Nomo like delivery

WebScorpion
06-28-2011, 01:02 AM
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Four hours before Friday's game, Cueto was running steps at the Camden Yards. It's a daily ritual. And it big part of what makes him a potential ace.
Strong legs make a great pitcher...and it's even more important for a smallish pitcher. The new delivery makes it hard for opposing batters to pick up the ball out of his hand AND it puts him in a better finishing position. My only worry with the new delivery is that it may be easier to steal off him. I guess he'll just have to keep people off first base. ;)