Right-hander Cueto receives two extra days of rest
With an off day coming up Wednesday, the parent Cincinnati Reds decided to give sudden Dayton Dragons right-hand sensation Johnny Cueto — and all those in the rotation after him — an extra game off between starts.
"It's just to rest their arms a little bit," Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. said. "Zach Ward will pick up Cueto's start (today at Southwest Michigan)."
Cueto will pitch again Thursday when the Dragons open a four-game series in South Bend. He last pitched last Thursday, allowing one hit in seven innings. In his start previous to that, he allowed no hits in a game called after five innings as a result of rain.
That's one hit in 12 innings. Not bad. No wonder the Reds want to give him some rest.
Ward is starting
Ward was a hard-throwing strikeout pitcher at Gardner-Webb University when he was selected in the third round of the draft last season. He spent 10 days with the rookie Billings team, but didn't pitch. His arm wasn't exactly sore, but it was "more of a dead arm, and they decided to shut me down," he said.
That's why this season is the first for Ward, and he is a bit surprised by the way he's being used.
Although he had always been a starter, Ward went to the Instructional League last fall and was told he probably would be converted into a reliever with the thought of some day making him a closer.
Yet when spring training ended and Jeff Stevens had to be left behind with a sore arm, Ward was moved into the starting rotation. He was taken out of the rotation when Stevens was ready to pitch (and after a couple of poor starts) but righted himself with a fine outing last Thursday, moving his record to 3-0 with a 3.89 ERA.
"I'm still getting lots of ground balls, but of the 15 earned runs I've given up, 10 were scored by guys I walked," he said. "That's my fault."
• Jon George, a 21-year-old right-hander who spent parts of the past three seasons with the Dragons but was sent back to extended spring training this year, was traded to the Colorado Rockies. He was assigned to Tri-City (Pasco, Wash.). George was 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 132/3 innings with the Dragons this season and had an impressive 13-2 strikeouts-walks ratio.
• First baseman Bobby Mosby has been placed on the Billings roster and sent to extended spring training. Infielder Angel Colon, who played briefly for Dayton last year, has been moved from extended spring training to the Dragons roster.