SARASOTA, Fla. -- How can you tell when a pitcher has inspired a scout to awaken from his somnambulant spring-training state?
When he bolts to attention as his radar gun begins to rattle. And, especially, when he then feels the need to start texting the gun numbers to his disbelieving friends.
"94-mph 2-seam ... 96 4-seam ... 96, 95, 94, 95, 94 ... 95 fb, 88 sli (slider), 87 sli, 96, 88 sli, 86 (change)."
The vignette we just described is true. Those text-message excerpts? Also 100 percent true. The scout will remain nameless. The pitcher who provoked this text-a-thon? He will not remain nameless.
Johnny Cueto could begin the regular season in the Reds' starting rotation.
That name, for future reference: Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. Remember it. We'll help you remember it, in fact, by naming him the 21-year-old captain of our 2008 Spring Training All-Eye-Popper Team.