I can see it...
I can see it...
The job will be Johnny's to lose.
I guess it depends on your definition of "ace". There's a whole thread discussing what an "ace" is over on ORG. If you see "ace" as the first starter in the rotation, then it will be Johnny.
If your "ace" is the stopper, the guy they trust with the ball for the team's best chance at getting a win, then I think the season will tell.
Regardless, this starting rotation is filled with potential (which we saw last year). Let's hope they can put together a year like they did last year. Having the likes of Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Chapman, and Arroyo (and plenty more capable arms fighting for a spot) is a good problem to have.
it's pretty deep...recall it was just a few years ago when Leake was the most consistant guy--now he is going to have trouble cracking the rotation
You could make the argument Latos is already an "ace" type pitcher. He pitched an entire season without missing a start, pitching in one of the worst ballparks for a pitcher, lost only four games and ended with a 3.48 ERA. Both his WAR (4.2) and WHIP (1.161) finished just outside the top ten of all MLB pitchers. I don't think being the #1 starter has anything to do with being an "ace", since a lot of teams have no ace and several teams have more than one. I guess it's all in the definition. With Cueto and Latos, we at least have two young guys on the verge of being that kind of pitchers.
"I talked to an advance scout that told me if Joey Votto and Albert Pujols were on the same team he'd advise his team to do the unthinkable...pitch around Votto to get to Pujols." - Buster Olney, ESPN
If by "become an ace" you mean take over the team's first spot in the rotation, then no, probably not. That spot is Ceuto's.
If by "become an ace" you mean become a guy who can be relied on to be the stopper and consistently bring nasty, top-of-the-rotation caliber stuff that makes hitters look bad and routinely puts the team in a position to win, then I would argue that Latos is already that kind of pitcher and doesn't need to "become" it.
I think part of Latos continuing to mature will be evident in how he starts outs out in April the next 2 seasons. He's been really slow to get going at the beginning of the year, and I think we'll start to see more consistency out of Mat from start to finish as he keeps progressing.
This is the year.
Is he going to stop throwing a fit on the mound in series deciding games? Remains to be seen. It just depends on his maturity. . . and probably his wife's too.
I'm not a twitter follower myself, by my wife is. Lots of posts from the Latos clan that resemble the following "Mat just ate 22 tacos." "Mat just finished his 6th Philly Cheesesteak". Way to take care of yourself in the offseason. Sounds like he is on the Austin Kearns plan.
He definitely needs to work on his maturity, especially dealing with the strike zone. This is not uncommon with major league pitchers though, there are many hot heads out there. I think Mat will cool it down with time, and develop into a very good pitcher (not that he already isn't).
If I were an athlete, or someone under the spotlight, I would not subject myself to questions about my loyalty/work ethic via twitter. It makes me wonder how supportive he is of Dallas's twitter antics, considering he doesn't even have a twitter himself. I think it's a bit ridiculous if you ask me. Just let em play ball...
I'll be interested to see what kind of start Latos gets off to this year. He's known for having a horrible first 4 weeks.. I wonder if he'll start strong this year.. The Reds made some adjustments to him last year.. They told him to stop using one of his pitches (which was mediocre and getting hit hard), then Matt took off. Hopefully he carries over the success to April 2013. It would be great to get off to a good start.
But as far as the original question, I consider Latos an ace now. Cueto too.
Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!
Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!