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Thread: Is Cueto really an ace?

  1. #211
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    I still wouldn't put the ace label on him, both because of the innings thing and his reliance on his defense. But the longer he keep this HR and general hit suppression up, the more inclined I am to think that this is "real". That said, we shouldn't ignore that Johnny's peripherals have improved this year. His strikeouts are up and his walk rate is down by 1/3, dropping his FIP by 40 points to just above 3.00. His BABIP is back to normal, but he's still suppressing HR and now is benefitting from some nice LOB "luck" -- though there's obviously some overlap there.

    I still don't think an ERA south of 2.50 is sustainable, but I'd be quite happy with one in the high 2s or lower 3s. Though he has been one of the most effective SP in the game over the last year (lowest ERA in baseball over the last 2 years I believe), I'd still label him a soft 1, very good 2. If Mat Latos can build on what we saw last night, I'd feel pretty good about the top of the rotation - though I'd still like to see Chapman be given every opportunity to be ready to be our Game 3 SP come October.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  3. #212
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The main thing that makes me say no, is that he has never topped 185 innings in a season. Aces throw 200+, consistently. That is what separates them. Cueto isn't there yet.
    It's a valid point. The good news is, Cueto is easily on pace to hit 200+ this year. He's already at 107.2, which is actually the 3rd most in the NL and 6th most in baseball.

  4. #213
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I still wouldn't put the ace label on him, both because of the innings thing and his reliance on his defense. But the longer he keep this HR and general hit suppression up, the more inclined I am to think that this is "real". That said, we shouldn't ignore that Johnny's peripherals have improved this year. His strikeouts are up and his walk rate is down by 1/3, dropping his FIP by 40 points to just above 3.00. His BABIP is back to normal, but he's still suppressing HR and now is benefitting from some nice LOB "luck" -- though there's obviously some overlap there.

    I still don't think an ERA south of 2.50 is sustainable, but I'd be quite happy with one in the high 2s or lower 3s. Though he has been one of the most effective SP in the game over the last year (lowest ERA in baseball over the last 2 years I believe), I'd still label him a soft 1, very good 2. If Mat Latos can build on what we saw last night, I'd feel pretty good about the top of the rotation - though I'd still like to see Chapman be given every opportunity to be ready to be our Game 3 SP come October.
    Are you basing that on this year or his career? Currently, Cueto is tied for the 9th highest WAR number of qualifying starting pitchers in all of baseball. He's on pace to potentially be a 5.5 win pitcher by the end of the year. Will he hit that milestone? Or maintain his current pace? Maybe, maybe not. I think there's a pretty good chance that he finishes in the top 20, maybe better. Wouldn't that by definition qualify him as a #1? And if he finishes in the top 10-15, wouldn't that definitely qualify him as a #1?

  5. #214
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    I found this to be very interesting:

    Johnny Cueto:
    K/9: 6.60
    BB/9: 2.09
    HR/9: 0.42

    Mike Leake
    K/9: 6.09
    BB/9: 2.16
    HR/9: 1.08

    From a peripheral point of view, Mike Leake has some similarities to Cueto.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  6. #215
    Member Phhhl's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    By all measures he has been the best starting pitcher on this staff for at least the last year and a half. I understand the sabremetrics, but isn't the best starter on any staff traditionally referred to as the "ace"? I am pretty sure if the postseason were to start tomorrow, he would be the guy the Reds would want to give the ball to. I guess I just don't understand the quarrel with media types who recognize this.

  7. #216
    Member Cedric's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phhhl View Post
    By all measures he has been the best starting pitcher on this staff for at least the last year and a half. I understand the sabremetrics, but isn't the best starter on any staff traditionally referred to as the "ace"? I am pretty sure if the postseason were to start tomorrow, he would be the guy the Reds would want to give the ball to. I guess I just don't understand the quarrel with media types who recognize this.
    I wasn't ever comfortable calling Jimmy Haynes or Paul Wilson an ace.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.

  8. #217
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phhhl View Post
    By all measures he has been the best starting pitcher on this staff for at least the last year and a half. I understand the sabremetrics, but isn't the best starter on any staff traditionally referred to as the "ace"? I am pretty sure if the postseason were to start tomorrow, he would be the guy the Reds would want to give the ball to. I guess I just don't understand the quarrel with media types who recognize this.
    In 'scout speak' an ACE is a #1 stopper for a playoff team. And no, not every playoff team has one of those guys. There are about 10-12 of those guys in baseball at any given time. Cueto wouldn't be inside my top 12.

  9. #218
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    In 'scout speak' an ACE is a #1 stopper for a playoff team. And no, not every playoff team has one of those guys. There are about 10-12 of those guys in baseball at any given time. Cueto wouldn't be inside my top 12.
    Just out of curiousity, who would be?

  10. #219
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Just out of curiousity, who would be?
    In no particular order:
    Justin Verlander
    Cliff Lee
    Clayton Kershaw
    Roy Halladay
    CC Sabathia
    David Price
    Felix Hernandez
    Zack Greinke
    Stephen Strasburg
    Cole Hamels
    Matt Cain

    Those were the guys I came up with without looking deeper into the stats. But I would take all of those guys without blinking over Cueto.

  11. #220
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    In no particular order:
    Justin Verlander
    Cliff Lee
    Clayton Kershaw
    Roy Halladay
    CC Sabathia
    David Price
    Felix Hernandez
    Zack Greinke
    Stephen Strasburg
    Cole Hamels
    Matt Cain

    Those were the guys I came up with without looking deeper into the stats. But I would take all of those guys without blinking over Cueto.
    I more or less agree with you on that list. I'm not sure about taking Lee and Halladay over him at this point. Both are getting older, and Halladay is battling a pretty serious injury. But in general, I agree with you, most people would take that list over Cueto.

  12. #221
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Doug, what criteria are you using for that list? This year only? Next few years? When healthy?

  13. #222
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Doug, what criteria are you using for that list? This year only? Next few years? When healthy?
    Who I think are better pitchers, without a question. Clearly Halladay isn't healthy, so maybe he doesn't go on that list at this point. And I am talking right now.

  14. #223
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    In no particular order:
    Justin Verlander
    Cliff Lee
    Clayton Kershaw
    Roy Halladay
    CC Sabathia
    David Price
    Felix Hernandez
    Zack Greinke
    Stephen Strasburg
    Cole Hamels
    Matt Cain

    Those were the guys I came up with without looking deeper into the stats. But I would take all of those guys without blinking over Cueto.
    The question in my mind isn't who would I take over Cueto. I would take half those guys over the other half, but that doesn't make the other half not Aces.

    The question for me is, "would I feel confident sending Cueto up against any of those guys in game one of a playoff series?". And for me, right now, the answer is an easy yes. I think if Cueto was matched up against any of these pitchers, the Reds would have at least a 50-50 shot of winning that game.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  15. #224
    Member RedsfaninMT's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Who I think are better pitchers, without a question. Clearly Halladay isn't healthy, so maybe he doesn't go on that list at this point. And I am talking right now.
    If you're talking right now, Cliff Lee should not be on that list. No wins, 0-5, with a 4.13 ERA. Peripherals show some bad luck, for sure, but if this is right now, Lee is not an ace.

  16. #225
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Cueto really an ace?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsfaninMT View Post
    If you're talking right now, Cliff Lee should not be on that list. No wins, 0-5, with a 4.13 ERA. Peripherals show some bad luck, for sure, but if this is right now, Lee is not an ace.
    Put Cueto with the Phillies defense and Lee with the Reds and see what happens. The Phillies defense hasn't been good this year at all. The Reds defense has been outstanding. Cliff Lee is absolutely an ace.


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