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Johnny Cueto pitched today against the Diamondbacks and… Damn, Cueto toyed with the D-Backs hitters. He looked filthy. He had them completely off-balance. Mixing between a 95 MPH fastball and a 84 MPH changeup, all of the D-Backs looked like their hitting coach was Mark Reynolds (up to 6 Ks! 200 is within reach). The only missteps: Hudson got a hold of one ball that a stronger hitter would’ve deposited in the seats, that turned it into a long out off of Hud’s bat and the Justin Upton home run. Upton had no business hitting the pitch. It was low and inside. The home run was more about the talent in Upton’s stroke than a bad pitch by Cueto.

A few impressive things looking forward that can be gathered from Cueto’s start.  First, the home run did not faze him. Came right back and got the next three guys. Second, he has great command. 10 Ks against no walks. Are you heffin’ kidding me? Third, no one in the league is familiar with his stuff. This will stay great for a while. Don’t see adjustments until at least the All-Star Break.

The only drawback — Dusty Baker. Cueto should’ve been pulled from the game in the bottom of the sixth when his turn to bat came up (it also cost them a run because while Cueto was on third there was a wild pitch that just about anyone outside of Giambi would’ve scored on). Long term, Baker’s a major negative. He’s getting old and he wants to retire after winning a championship. If that means, throwing his pitchers for too many innings, then so be it. He’s thinking about the here and now, but for the near future, Cueto is the here and now.

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  1. Bob says:
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    I’ve put in a waiver wire claim for him in all my Yahoo leagues. Now I have to wait until April 5 to find out if I get him in any of them. Meantime, do you have any season projections for him based on this performance?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    I’d say from what I saw today, he’s every bit as good as ’07 Gallardo or ’06 Weaver. In other words, low 3 ERA/ 1.05-1.10 WHIP/10 wins/ every bit of 130 Ks/20 starts. He looked as impressive as any rookie I’ve seen in recent memory. There will be speedbumps along the way as with any rookie (if you remember Gallardo’s Rockies start last year), but he looked filthy.

  3. i’d just like to send a big fuck you to yahoo for not adding him late so no one could use his start. i’ve got the #1 waiver claim so i’m getting him in the league i need a starter but this start was sweet…even if the reds bullpen will probably blow it…

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    What’s also really annoying is for the people who did their homework for their draft and weren’t able to draft him, now they’ll have to see other people grab him off of waivers.

  5. josh says:
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    +1 rudy, i was just coming here to write that

  6. Bob says:
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    I find Yahoo annoying, too. But I kept whatever waiver priority I had waiting on Cueto. My best chance is a #3 in one league. I’ve got four claims – I hope I get at least one of them.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh — You putting Rudy down for a guest list?

  8. josh says:
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    hmm i’m slow sometimes. that went over my head

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    If I gotta explain it, it’s not worth it.

    I can’t believe Chacon wriggled out of two jams.

  10. scott says:
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    Johnny Cueto….I’m not sure how to pronounce his last name because I’ve been keeping his existence on down low for weeks, never daring to utter his name before another human being ….if its pronounced Johnny Cute-o then every boy band member and latino porn star is kicking themselves for not having thought of the name first. If its not, well…. it doesn’t matter cause he was as advertised, wasn’t he? I’m drinking the kool-aid, bidding adieu to Milton Bradley (yeah I said it) and staking my claim….at Number 4 I’m probably gonna come up empty. I agree with the big middle finger to Yahoo. I’ve been watching this guy for weeks and now some punk-ass bitch is gonna get him cause Johnny Cueto K’d 10.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    How hard would it have been to put Cueto in their database? Rudy actually wrote them a strongly worded letter to get Cueto into the system. I think they said they outsource the player database. Maybe we can get Rudy to post his email and their response.

    Sadly, I don’t think you’re getting him. Too bad he didn’t bomb in his first start so his stock would plummet. BTW, Sutton and Gracie were pronouncing it Quaint-O, so maybe an Amish boy band?

  12. john says:
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    I have Webb, Dice-K, Maine, Greinke, Wood, Soria, Marmol, and Betancourt. Do I drop one for a waiver on Cueto?

  13. scott says:
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    An Amish boy band would never work…they wouldn’t be able to lip sync, they would have to play their own acoustic instruments and they could never fit all that equipment on the horse and buggy….

  14. Bob says:
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    Or any of these guys in the 12 team mixed league Yahoo format.

    Pedro
    Big Unit?
    Arroyo
    Gorzelanny
    Wainwright
    Maddux

  15. wilson says:
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    i have had him in my farm team for a little over a year now but thanks to yahoo i got screwed out of using him today. i am just happy i am not going to be one of the people that new about him for awile but couldint get him till now and lose him on waivers to people that just saw him pitch today. been telling all my friends (that arent in leagues with me of course) about him and manny parra all winter now i get to look smart for a few days

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john — That looks like a ten team, if it is then I’d consider dropping Betancourt since the Indians seem content with Blow-rowski. Also, you’ll have better trade bait with Cueto then you would with Betancourt. So if you need a closer, grab Cueto, then trade him for the best closer you can get.

    @Bob — I love Pedro, but he looked bad, but can’t you put him on your DL? If you can DL him — drop Arroyo.

    @Wilson — As you can see from quite a few posts on this site, I’ve been pimping Parra for a while.

  17. Carl says:
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    Wow what an amazing start. I had the number 1 waiver priority coming in to today and in a DEEP NL-only 9-team 30 man roster league, Cueto can be REALLY valuable. I wanted to draft him too, but like most of you, got screwed by Yahoo! plus we decided that no one listed could be drafted. So during his start, I get a call from the guy with the 7th waiver priority and he asks me what I want for the number 1 waiver. My hitting is strong and my pitching is average. I ask him what pitchers are available, he says Pedro, Randy J, Mike Hampton, Oliver Perez…I’m like…c’mon. I then say what about Harang? He thinks long and hard… I tell him I had to leave in 20 minutes to take the wife and baby shopping….and he finally gives in. I threw in Velez who was on my bench and voila. My number 1 priority and Velez for Harang AND his 7th priority which will become the 6th after tonight, so not too bad. My thinking is, Cueto looked great, but like all rookies there are ups and downs. With Harang, his value in NL-only is immense, plus I know what I’m getting with him.

  18. john says:
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    its actually a 12 team, i also have snell and accardo. So for now i think i’m safe with closers…would you still say drop betancourt?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @John — Yeah, I’d drop Betancourt for him. If he gets a few more good starts under his belt, you can trade him while his value is sky high. If he bombs (which I don’t think is going to happen), you can find another middle reliever. I love middle relievers, but I never hesitate dropping one for a good starter or a hitter.

    @Carl — That’s a great trade for you. I would’ve done the same in a heartbeat. Cueto looks great but there will be some speed bumps.

  20. Carl says:
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    Thanks Grey, I can’t believe I actually thought about it. I guess seeing a guy strike 10 out in 7 IP with 1 hit will do that. We’ll see what he does the next time out with a lineup that doesn’t have Young and Reynolds in it.

  21. scott says:
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    I lost out on my waiver claim and then had my Posada for Cueto trade offer rejected by a team that is starting Towles at Catcher. I guess I’m just gonna have to figure out how to live my life without Johnny Cueto…I’m sure after the crying ends and then the anger subsides I’ll eventually accept it and move on…they say time heals all wounds…

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Sometimes a good cry is all you need.

    Somehow I got Cueto in a league I didn’t expect to get him in. But I had to drop Neshek, so I’m having a little buyer’s remorse.

  23. Bob says:
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    I got Cueto in two out of my fours leagues, but alas, I didn’t get him in my money league. Had to drop Pedro in one of my leagues to bag him because I already have a line-up of three DL’d guys there, including Putz and B.J. Ryan.

  24. i got cueto in two of three leagues. gave up garko in a 10 team league and fukumori on TX in the 12 team league.

    is it me or does johnny cueto sound like a high school bully that would taunt someone like daniel larussa?

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