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Thread: Volquez, Cueto close in

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Volquez, Cueto close in

    The other thread is getting long so I'll just start a new one for this.

    Volquez, Cueto close in
    Baker all but says youngsters will be starters
    BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM

    SARASOTA, Fla. - Reds manager Dusty Baker came as close as he could to saying Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto will be in the starting rotation.

    Baker was asked after Volquez's outing Sunday if Volquez and Cueto were separating themselves from the rest of the rotation competition.

    "You want me to say it, or are you going to say it?" Baker said. "They're pitching like they belong alongside (Aaron) Harang and (Bronson) Arroyo in the rotation. They're dealing.

    "They came in ready to pitch. They played Winter Ball, so they're ahead - not so much with velocity but with command. That's what you need. They're pounding the strike zone. If you walk people, you have no chance. If you get behind people, you have a little chance."

    The young Dominican right-handers - Cueto is 22, Volquez is 25 - have been the talk of Reds camp this spring. They throw hard with good off-speed stuff. But what's been most impressive is the way they've fearlessly attacked tough competition.

    That's what Volquez did Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies' "A" lineup. He pitched five shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out six in the Reds' 6-2 loss.

    "Their guys were saying how hard it was to pick up his pitches," Baker said.

    Volquez needed only 69 pitches to get through five innings, largely because he threw 47 strikes.

    Volquez lowered his spring ERA to 3.46.

    Most impressive: Volquez's 19 strikeouts and three walks in 13 innings.

    Cueto has a 1.00 ERA in nine innings this spring. He's given up six hits and one walk and struck out eight.

    The Reds' Opening Day rotation is looking like it will be Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez and veteran Josh Fogg. Fogg has out-pitched everyone else competing for a rotation spot - Homer Bailey, Matt Belisle and Jeremy Affeldt - and he's won 10 games five of the past six years.

    Sunday was Volquez's first start. He began by striking out reigning National League Most Valuable Player Jimmy Rollins with a drop-off-the-table changeup on a 3-2 count.

    "My changeup was my best pitch today," Volquez said. "I threw four sliders, four curves or something like that. I found out in the bullpen that the changeup was better today, so I better use it."

    Volquez retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced - five by strikeout. His changeup was fooling guys big time, especially when they were expecting his fastball, which topped out at 96 mph.

    Volquez, obtained in the Josh Hamilton trade, says the difference from the past is control - of his pitches and of himself.

    "I'm throwing more strikes," he said. "That's what I'm going for. I control my emotions, too. I'm getting old, man."

    He was not intimidated by the Phillies' lineup.

    "When those guys go to home plate, I think, 'This is a big guy,' " he said. "I pitch like normal. But facing Ryan Howard, oh man. He's a big guy."

    After going to the three-ball count on Rollins, Volquez didn't go to a three-ball count again until facing Howard with two outs in the fourth. Howard ended up singling.

    "He was looking for a changeup," Volquez said. "That's what good hitters do."

    Jayson Werth followed with a single, but Volquez struck out Geoff Jenkins for his sixth strikeout, leaving the runners stranded.

    Volquez was at his best in the fifth. He got a routine groundball on the first pitch, but Brandon Phillips booted it. Volquez walked the next hitter. But he got out of it. Brett Myers popped up trying to bunt, Rollins hit into a fielder's choice and Shane Victorino grounded out.

    Cueto will face a a similar test today when the Detroit Tigers come to Ed Smith Stadium.

    The smart money says Cueto will go right after the Tigers.

    "That's the way he and Volquez pitch," Reds Dominican coordinator Mario Soto said. "They have good stuff. They throw strikes. They go after you."

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...PT04/803170421

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    "They came in ready to pitch. They played Winter Ball, so they're ahead - not so much with velocity but with command. That's what you need. They're pounding the strike zone. If you walk people, you have no chance. If you get behind people, you have a little chance."
    Dear Homer Bailey,

    Hopefully in Louisville you'll be able to buy a map to help you find the strike zone. I eagerly await an email or text message from you proving you can consistently find said strike zone. Until then, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, some mint juleps and some hot browns.

    Best Regards,

    Dusty Baker.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Dear Homer Bailey,

    Hopefully in Louisville you'll be able to buy a map to help you find the strike zone. I eagerly await an email or text message from you proving you can consistently find said strike zone. Until then, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, some mint juleps and some hot browns.

    Best Regards,

    Dusty Baker.
    And what effect will winter ball have on Volquez and Cueto come June, July, etc?

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    And what effect will winter ball have on Volquez and Cueto come June, July, etc?
    for Volquez I don't think it is an issue. In the case of Cueto, his workload and pitch counts should be monitored closely. IMHO, he is in the area where a young arm is vulnerable to injury through overwork.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    And what effect will winter ball have on Volquez and Cueto come June, July, etc?
    Cueto should be on a strict pitch count if he comes North for Opening Day. Cueto should never, at any time, under any circumstance throw more than 100 pitches while wearing a Reds uniform in 2008.

    Volquez is older, and looks to be more physically mature, and I would put his pitch count at 110. I would also make sure that every 5 starts he's under 500 pitches.

    Will either of these happen? Probably not.

    I'm a fan of both of their mechanics, so I wouldn't be worried about them having dead arm in the middle of the summer.

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    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Dear Homer Bailey,

    Hopefully in Louisville you'll be able to buy a map to help you find the strike zone. I eagerly await an email or text message from you proving you can consistently find said strike zone. Until then, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, some mint juleps and some hot browns.

    Best Regards,

    Dusty Baker.
    I think Homer needs to pull his arm over and ask for directions. Hopefully their is somebody in the minors that he clicks with to make the lightbulb come on.
    If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Another solid performance today by Cueto against a very tough lineup. After a rocky first inning where Cueto worked out of a jam, he settled down and retired 11 of the final 12 he faced. His final line:

    4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K...both hits were bloops to the first two hitters of the game.

    His updated spring line:

    13 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 2.08 ERA

    By Hal McCoy | Monday, March 17, 2008, 09:22 AM

    For most of this spring it has been like a day of leisurely sailing on placid Sarasota Bay for rookie pitcher Johnny Cueto - no issues, no roiling waves or sandbars.

    That changed Monday against the Detroit Tigers and instead of sinking to the bottom of the bay the 22-year-old rookie pitcher responded with the savvy and verve of a pitcher twice his age - like his opponent Monday, 45-year-old Kenny Rogers.

    In the first inning, Cueto was up to his neck in hungry alligators. Four of the first five Tigers reached base. And while two scored, the damage could have been much more dire. Instead, Cueto got out of that mess and pitched three nearly perfect innings after the first - no runs, no hits, one walk.

    That’s a commendable rescue by a kid that was worthy of a guy with 20 years on his resume.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs...incinnatireds/

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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    I saw this on Fay's blog.

    Detroit manager Jim Leyland gave Cueto a major compliment to Dusty Baker.

    "He said he'd take Cueto," Baker said. "He wasn't tampering. He was joking. I was talking to him before the game about what happened to him with (Joel) Zumaya and (Juston) Verlander. Those guys came out of A ball. It's a matter of sometimes you go with the talent, especially when you haven't been winning with the stuff you've been using. (Cueto's) made an impression on everyone around this Grapefruit League, not just us."

    With Jeremy Affeldt going to the bullpen, the Reds' rotation is starting look settled. Baker was asked he was convinced Cueto could do what he's done down here once the season begins.

    "I never said I wasn't convinced," Baker said. "I just can't say that. I don't want to squelch other guys and I don't want him to think he has it made. Not that he'd do that. I don't think he's that kind of young man.

    "This guy wants it badly."

  10. #9
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    I hope and pray Cueto is in the Opening Day rotation. With a rotation of Harang/Arroyo/Volquez/Cueto in the first four spots, this team can possibly win the NL Central IMO. Cueto's stuff and command is so good that I think he can make an impact as a rookie. I've loved this kid since the first time Marc Lancaster mentioned him (Cueto) impressive the Reds brass back in spring training of 2006. Another reason I'd like to see him stick with the big league season all year is so that he can get a big league salary for a full season. This is a guy who signed for 3500 dollars, which is the steal of the century. That's not a whole lot of money. I'd love nothing more than for him to have a big year for the Reds and start drawing that big league check for himself and his family.

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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    It seems like barring a catastrophe of some sort, Volquez and Cueto are in, but I wonder how up for grabs that last spot is between Fogg and Belisle? It definitely appears that Fogg has the edge, but I wonder how much of an edge that is. I'd like to see Belisle get the nod and Fogg in long relief, but I wouldn't be opposed to seeing Fogg take over the spot if Belisle struggles. They're both making similar coin, but Belisle has more upside (which I guess isn't hard with Fogg). Though supposedly Fogg can be cut at the end of spring training for a $100K buyout. I don't know, at this juncture, why you wouldn't roll with that. Put Tom Shearn in long relief if you must.

    Isn't is funny how a month ago, Belisle was a lock for the #3 spot and now he is in serious jeopardy of not even making the rotation? Crazy.

  12. #11
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    Isn't is funny how a month ago, Belisle was a lock for the #3 spot and now he is in serious jeopardy of not even making the rotation? Crazy.
    He was a lock in the minds of some....that is all

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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Here is another quote from Leyland on Cueto:

    Leyland smiled and said, “If you don’t want Cueto, we’ll take him off your hands.” And that was before he saw him pitch. Afterward, Leyland said, “Some of the best crude stuff I’ve seen. Good velocity, good breaking ball. One of the best-looking young pitchers I’ve seen. Very impressive.”

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/con...incinnatireds/

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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Taking away Belisle's spot in the rotation based on spring training mumble is stupid. Cueto has earned the right to start the year in the rotation. But that just means Fogg isn't necessary at this time.

    Things change as the season goes along. Everybody gets ready in their own way.

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Here is another quote from Leyland on Cueto:

    Leyland smiled and said, “If you don’t want Cueto, we’ll take him off your hands.” And that was before he saw him pitch. Afterward, Leyland said, “Some of the best crude stuff I’ve seen. Good velocity, good breaking ball. One of the best-looking young pitchers I’ve seen. Very impressive.”

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/con...incinnatireds/
    High praise indeed.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Volquez, Cueto close in

    Fogg's 2008 ST is the biggest mirage since Carlos Almanzar.
    Suck it up cupcake.


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