Johnny Cueto

Johnny Cueto Ortiz (Spanish: [ˈkweto]; born February 15, 1986) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Cincinnati Reds from 2008 through 2015 and the Kansas City Royals in 2015. He was traded from the Reds to the Royals during the 2015 season, where he won the 2015 World Series over the New York Mets.

Cueto made his major league debut in 2008, delivering an outstanding performance, but struggling with consistency in his rookie year and 2009. By 2010 though, Cueto began to become a more consistent starting pitcher, and by 2011 he had emerged as the ace of the Reds pitching staff and one of the top pitchers in the National League. He won 19 games and posted a 2.78 ERA in 2012, finishing fourth in the voting for the National League Cy Young Award and helping lead the Reds to the NL Central title. In 2014, he won 20 games with a 2.25 ERA and tied for the NL lead in strikeouts with 242, finishing as the runner up for the Cy Young. In 2016, he won 18 games with the San Francisco Giants while posting a 2.79 ERA, helping lead them to the postseason, where they lost in the NLDS, and achieving another top 10 finish in the Cy Young voting. He was an MLB All-Star in 2014 and 2016, and was chosen as the starting pitcher for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. From 2011 to 2017, Cueto accumulated the second lowest ERA of all pitchers with at least 750 innings pitched (behind Clayton Kershaw), managing a 2.94 ERA alongside a 90–51 (.638) record in ​1,256 13 innings.

Johnny Cueto
Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto talks to reporters at 2016 All-Star Game availability. (27913818734)
Cueto in 2016
San Francisco Giants – No. 47
Starting pitcher
Born: February 15, 1986 (age 33)
San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 3, 2008, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
(through July 28, 2018)
Win–loss record125–85
Earned run average3.33
Career highlights and awards

Minor league career

Cueto was in the Minor Leagues for three seasons, and has excelled at many levels, but really turned heads during the 2007 season. Cueto started his career for the Gulf Coast Reds of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, posting a 5.02 earned run average (ERA), before being promoted to the High-A Sarasota Reds of the Florida State League, where he finished his 2005 season. Johnny has had progressively better seasons since. In 2006, Cueto was assigned to the Low A Dayton Dragons, posting a 2.61 ERA, and a 0.88 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) ratio. While with Dayton, on May 13, 2006, he threw a rain-shortened no-hitter against Wisconsin.[1] He was later promoted back to Sarasota, where he finished his season for the second consecutive year. In 2007, Cueto was placed, once again, in Sarasota. He pitched 14 games in Sarasota, before going on a hot streak, and advancing through three levels in one season. He played for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts, and AAA Louisville Bats throughout the rest of his 2007 campaign.[2] He was named the Reds' Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season.[3]

Major league career

Cincinnati Reds (2008–2015)

2008: Rookie season

Cueto made his Major League debut on April 3, 2008, for the Reds at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he carried a perfect game through five innings before surrendering a home run to Justin Upton in the top of the sixth inning. The home runner was the only baserunner he allowed, striking out 10 in 7 innings. Cueto was credited with the win in his debut, as the Reds hung on to win 3–2. Cueto was the first Red since 1900 to throw ten strikeouts in his Major League debut. He was also the first MLB pitcher to have 10 strikeouts and 0 walks in his debut. He was the third in MLB history to have 10 strikeouts and give up only 1 hit.[4] For the game, Cueto's ERA was 1.29 on 92 pitches. Despite his impressive debut, Cueto was inconsistent for the most part on the season. In his first two starts of the season, Cueto was 1-0 with a 2.02 ERA in ​13 13 innings with 18 strikeouts, while he went 1-5 in ​43 13 innings with a 6.65 ERA across his next eight. Cueto struck out several batters in his starts, but found himself unable to pitch himself deep into games rather frequently due to high pitch counts and giving up lots of home runs. At the end of the 2008 campaign, he finished with a 9–14 record with an ERA of 4.81 in 31 starts (14 quality starts). While he pitched only 174 innings, Cueto struck 158 batters (the most of all NL rookies), good for a K/9 ratio of 8.17, the eighth best in the National League.

2009: Hot and Cold

Cueto started 2009 as the Reds #4 starter. Cueto gave up four earned runs in six innings in his season debut in a 10-2 loss to the Pirates, despite striking out nine. Over his next three starts, however, Cueto posted a sub 1.00 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 18 innings. Cueto pitched a career high eight shutout innings on May 3, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out in a 5-0 win over the Pirates. Between April 22 and May 29, Cueto had a nine start span where he pitched at least seven innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in all but one of those starts. Cueto's ERA continued to be one of the strongest in the National League through the first three months of the season. On June 14, he took the lead for the lowest NL ERA, with a mark of 2.17 in 87 innings. His BB/9 lowered as the 2009 season progressed. Two weeks before the All-Star game, Cueto was 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA, a major improvement from the previous season. On July 6, 2009, Cueto suffered the worst defeat in his young career. Taking the mound against the Phillies, he allowed nine earned runs on five hits, walking three.[5] To top it off, all this happened in the first inning, and Cueto was taken out of the game after only recording two outs. The Phillies scored 10 runs that inning. Cueto struggled following that defeat, turning in a 5.91 ERA over his final 13 starts while only managing a 3-6 record, although the final six starts (3-1 with a 3.63 ERA) were more promising. Cueto finished the season with a record of 11–11, and an ERA of 4.41 in 30 starts. In ​171 13 innings, Cueto struck out 132 batters and walked 61 batters, which despite a lower BB/9 ratio (3.20 versus 3.52) resulted in a lower K/BB ratio than his rookie season (2.32 versus 2.16) due to a decrease in strikeouts per nine innings (6.93 versus 8.17).

2010: Increasing Consistency

Cueto started the 2010 season as the Reds' third starter. On May 11, Cueto pitched a one-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He struck out eight, walked none and hit one batter, leading the Reds to a 9–0 victory. In his 11 starts following his shutout before the All-Star break, Cueto went 6-1 with a 3.01 ERA, which included a streak of six consecutive decisions being wins, a new career high.

On August 12, Cueto was suspended seven games for what Major League Baseball described as his "violent and aggressive actions" in a bench-clearing brawl in the first inning of the Reds' August 10 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.[6] While pinned to the backstop, Cueto began kicking wildly at various Cardinals, injuring Chris Carpenter and Jason LaRue.[7][8] LaRue suffered a severe concussion in the brawl, and was forced to retire after the season. Cueto only won one more game after the incident.

Cueto finished the 2010 season with a 12–7 record and a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts, pitching ​185 23 innings, striking out 138 batters, but giving up only 56 walks, 19 home runs and 181 hits. In Game 3 of the NLDS, he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 5 innings and took the loss as Cole Hamels pitched a shutout. Following the 2010 season, the Reds and Cueto agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract.[9]

2011: Breakout Year

Cueto began the season on the disabled list due to irritation in his right triceps suffered towards the end of spring training. He returned on May 8, pitching six scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs. Since he missed a lot of starts from being on the disabled list, Cueto didn't become eligible for the ERA race until his start against the San Francisco Giants on July 31, where he pitched a three-hit, complete game shutout. He then took the Major League Baseball lead with a 1.72 ERA. He lost eligibility, twice, due to lack of innings since, but retook the National League lead in ERA after throwing seven innings of shutout ball against the Colorado Rockies on August 11. As the season progressed, Cueto began incorporating more and more of a turn to his windup. At the start of the season, his windup featured a conventional step, keeping his body pointed at third base before delivering to the plate. However, by late July, Cueto's torso faces second base and he pauses for a brief moment. Many people have compared this turn to Boston Red Sox great Luis Tiant's famous turn. As of August 25, he was tied with Jered Weaver for the best ERA in all of Major League Baseball at 2.03. On August 28, Cueto struck out a career-high 11 batters against the Washington Nationals, receiving a no-decision as he threw seven innings of two-run ball.

Cueto's bid for the ERA title and season came to an end after he strained a muscle in his back on September 15, while pitching vs the Cubs. On September 20, the team decided to shut down Cueto for the year without risking further injury.[10] Cueto finished the season with a 9-5 record and a 2.31 ERA in 156 innings across 24 starts – six innings short of qualifying for the ERA title. Cueto struck out 104 batters, and gave up just 123 hits, 47 walks and eight home runs. He also pitched 3 complete games, 1 of which was a shutout.

2012: Breaking the 200 Inning Plateau and Cy Young Finalist

Cueto started on Opening Day for the Reds and went on to win 19 games against only 9 losses with a 2.78 ERA in 33 starts, giving up 205 hits and 15 home runs across 217 innings and striking out 170 batters, while walking just 49. Cueto established career bests in BB/9 and K/BB ratio with 2.03 and 3.47 respectively, while his 7.05 K/9 ratio was his best since his rookie year in 2008. It was the first time in his career he pitched 200 plus innings in a single season. Cueto also threw two complete games. In his first one, on May 4 against the Pirates, Cueto allowed just one run on seven hits, striking out four and giving up no walks. Cueto threw another complete game against the Cleveland Indians on June 12, giving up just one run on six hits, with seven strikeouts and no walks. During an eleven start stretch between May 30 and July 28, Cueto threw ​81 13 innings without allowing a home run, a stretch in which he posted an 8-3 record with a 2.27 ERA. His streak came to an end on August 2, when Eddy Rodriguez hit a home run off Cueto in a game versus the Brewers. Cueto threw 23 quality starts, and ranked third in wins and ERA, fourth in complete games, fifth in innings pitched, eighth in hits allowed and ninth in winning percentage in the National League, while breaking his career bests in all of those categories. The Reds clinched the NL Central Division title for the second time in three years, and the second best record in baseball (97-65) behind the Washington Nationals.

Cueto started Game 1 of the National League Division Series against San Francisco, but left after only eight pitches because of a strained muscle in his back. After the Giants won Game 3, forcing a fourth game of the NLDS, the Reds replaced Cueto on the playoff roster with Mike Leake, who was their fifth starter during the season. Cueto finished fourth in the voting for the National League Cy Young Award, behind winner R.A. Dickey, Clayton Kershaw and Gio González.

2013: Injury Plagued Season

Cueto suffered from a variety of injuries in 2013, including a lat strain, a shoulder strain and tightness in his lat, limiting him to only 11 starts on the season. In those 11 starts, Cueto had a record of 5–2 with a 2.82 ERA and 51 strikeouts over ​60 23 innings, holding opponents to a .209 batting average. He gave up no more than three earned runs in ten of his 11 starts, and no more than one earned run in eight of them.

Despite his limited season, Cueto was chosen to start the 2013 NL Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cueto was met by a raucous, loud Pittsburgh crowd who had not seen a playoff game in 20 years. The Pirates fans chanted Cueto's name loudly the entire game, attempting to rattle him. After already giving up a second-inning home run to Pirates outfielder Marlon Byrd, Cueto, who was having his name mockingly chanted by over 40,000 people, dropped the ball off the mound, much to the delight of the Pittsburgh crowd. On the next pitch he threw, Cueto gave up another home run to Pirates catcher Russell Martin, giving Pittsburgh an early 2–0 lead. Cueto allowed two more runs, and was pulled after ​3 13 innings, having already given up 4 earned runs on 8 hits. The Reds would show little resistance the rest of the way, and the Pirates won the game 6–2, advancing to an NLDS series with other division rival the St. Louis Cardinals. Cueto took the loss in the game, which ended the season for both Cueto and the Reds.

2014: First All-Star Selection and Cy Young Runner Up

After a disappointing finish to an injury-riddled 2013 season, Cueto not only opened the season in excellent fashion, but produced one of the most dominant performances by a starter in years. In his first nine starts of the season, he pitched at least seven innings, giving up no more than two earned runs and five hits per outing. Making his third consecutive opening day start, Cueto permitted just one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out eight batters. Despite allowing only five earned runs and 13 hits in his first three starts (21 innings) Cueto had accumulated two losses and a no decision due to poor run support from his offense. On April 16, Cueto threw a complete game, three-hit shutout versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, striking out a career-high 12 batters without issuing a single walk. It was the seventh career complete game and third career shutout for Cueto and his first complete game in nearly two years.[11] Cueto threw another complete game versus his Pirates in his next start on April 22, in which he had a shutout going until he gave up a home run to Andrew McCutchen in the ninth with one out. He settled down to just allow the one run and another two hits, both of them singles, striking out four and walking three while throwing 117 pitches and outdueling former Reds teammate Edinson Volquez. It was the first time in his career Cueto had thrown complete games in back to back starts.[12] Cueto followed this up by throwing another shutout versus the Padres (his third complete game of the season) on May 15, striking out eight batters and allowing three singles and two walks, lowering his ERA to 1.25.[13] In his first fifteen starts of the season, despite compiling only a 6-5 win-loss record, Cueto had a 1.92 ERA across 108 innings, with 111 strikeouts against only 26 walks, good for a WHIP of 0.83, while limiting opponents to a .169 batting average.

In July Cueto was selected to his first All-Star Game.[14] At the time, Cueto was second in the NL in ERA (2.13) and strikeouts (141) and first in innings pitched (​143 23) and opponents batting average (.181).[11] Cueto was named National League Player of the Week for August 4–10 after recording a 2–0 record with a 2.12 ERA, and 15 strikeouts in 17.0 innings pitched.[15] After his first twenty-five starts, Cueto had a 14-6 record with a 2.05 ERA, having already established career highs in strikeouts, complete games and shutouts.

On September 28, 2014, Cueto recorded his 20th win of the 2014 season, becoming the first Cincinnati Reds player to achieve 20 or more victories in a season since Danny Jackson achieved the feat in 1988. The final score of the game, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, was 4–1. Cueto pitched a total of eight innings of one-run ball and was allowed to bat in the 8th inning instead of a pinch hitter, with the game tied 1–1 and a runner on third base. Cueto hit a go-ahead single and Aroldis Chapman picked up the save for the game in the 9th.[16]

Cueto finished the 2014 season with a 20-9 record and a 2.25 ERA in 34 starts (29 quality starts), giving up only 169 hits and 22 home runs across ​243 23 innings pitched, recording 242 strikeouts (tied for the most in the NL with Stephen Strasburg) against just 65 walks, an opponent batting average of .194, an opponent on-base percentage of .261, an opponent slugging percentage of .313, an opponent on-base plus slugging of .584, and an 0.96 WHIP. He also pitched 4 complete games (2 shutouts), never pitched less than 5 innings in any outing, pitched 6 or more innings in 29 of his 34 starts, 7 or more innings in 23 starts, and 8 or more innings in 15 starts. Cueto gave up 2 earned runs or fewer in 27 starts, gave up 7 hits or fewer in all but one of his starts, struck out 8.94 batters per nine innings (the ninth best K/9 ratio in the National League), and gave up fewer hits per nine innings than any other starting pitcher in the majors (6.24 H/9). On November 12, 2014, Cueto finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting to Clayton Kershaw.[17] He also received the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for his defensive excellence.

2015: Final Season in Cincinnati

On April 6, Cueto recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career in a 5–2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cueto finished his fourth consecutive Opening Day start allowing just five baserunners (four hits and one walk) across seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, a personal Opening Day high.[18] He pitched at least seven innings in eight of his nine first starts, continuing his trend of pitching deep into games as established during the 2011 season. Cueto struggled with inflammation in his elbow in May, but only missed a pair of starts and continued to assert himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball. At the end of June, Cueto had a 2.98 ERA, a .204 opponent batting average and a 0.94 WHIP while limiting opponents to a .204 batting average. Cueto was a candidate for the Final Vote on the NL All-Star ballot, but lost to Carlos Martinez. On July 7, Cueto had his best outing of the year against the Nationals, throwing a complete game two-hit shutout, striking out 11 batters and walking only one. Despite Cueto's success, the Reds' continued to plummet in the NL Central, and ultimately chose to trade Cueto to the Royals days before the Trade Deadline. In 19 starts with the Reds, Cueto went 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA, striking out 120 batters across ​130 23 innings (good for a K/9 ratio of 8.27), limiting opponents to a .196 batting average, and posting a WHIP of 0.93.

Kansas City Royals (2015)

2015: Ups and Downs and World Series championship

Johnny Cueto on October 28, 2015
Cueto pitching in 2015 World Series

On July 26, 2015, Cueto was traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Brandon Finnegan and minor leaguers John Lamb and Cody Reed.[19]

In his home debut with the Royals, Cueto threw a 4-hit complete game shutout against the Detroit Tigers, striking out eight batters without issuing a walk. This gave him his first win in a Royals uniform.

After a promising start, Cueto struggled down the stretch, posting a 4-7 record and a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts after joining the Royals. After a mediocre performance in game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros, Cueto returned to form in game 5, pitching eight dominant innings, striking out 8 and retiring his final 19 batters. The only hits he allowed came on back-to-back pitches: an infield single by Evan Gattis and a home run by Luis Valbuena. The Royals went on to win 7–2, eliminating the Astros and securing a spot in the ALCS for the second straight season. In the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays,[20] Cueto took the loss in game 3 after giving up eight earned runs in two innings as the Royals' series lead shrunk from 2 games to 1.[21]

Cueto started in game two of the World Series, delivering by far the best postseason performance in his entire career up to that point. Cueto was dominant from start to finish, pitching a complete game and only gave up two hits and one run (while striking out four) to give the Royals a 7–1 victory over the New York Mets and a 2–0 series lead. Only Lucas Duda recorded a hit (with 2), becoming the difference maker between Cueto and a no-hitter.[22] Cueto became the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in the World Series since Minnesota's Jack Morris in 1991.[23] The Royals went on to win the World Series in 5 games to give Cueto his first championship ring.

In 32 starts between the Reds and Royals, Cueto went 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA, striking out 176 batters across 212 innings, allowing just 194 hits and 46 walks, while pitching 2 complete game shutouts. He set career highs in BB/9 (1.95) and K/BB (3.83) ratios alongside a K/9 ratio of 7.47, despite failing to post a sub-3.00 ERA for the first time since 2010. Following the World Series, Cueto became a free agent for the first time in his career.

San Francisco Giants (2016–present)

2016: All-Star Starting Pitcher and Giants Co-Ace

On December 16, 2015, Cueto signed a six-year, $130 million contract with the San Francisco Giants (an annual amount of $21.7 million) with a club option for 2022 worth $22 million with a $5 million buyout. Cueto's contract includes a $500,000 bonus if he is traded to another team, as well as the option to opt out of the contract after two years with a guaranteed $5 million pay for the buyout.[24]

Cueto made his Giants debut on April 5 against the Milwaukee Brewers, earning the win after pitching seven innings, limiting the Brewers to an earned run on six hits while striking out four. In his home debut at AT&T Park on April 10, despite allowing five earned runs in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cueto allowed just one more earned run in seven innings, striking out eight while walking only two. On April 26 at AT&T Park, in a 1–0 complete game shutout over the San Diego Padres, his first with the Giants and the seventh of his career (13th complete game), Cueto won his 100th career game on 119 pitches. He became the twelfth Dominican-born pitcher in Major League history to win one hundred games.[25] Cueto struck out 11 batters, giving up seven hits while issuing one walk. Cueto threw his second complete game of the season, against the Padres at Petco Park on May 18, giving up just one run on four hits, striking out eight batters and walking just two. On May 23, Cueto pitched another 1–0 complete game shutout, the 15th complete game and eighth shutout of his career, at home against the Padres, giving up just two hits and striking out six without issuing a walk.[26] Cueto was named National League Player of the Week for the second time in his career for May 23–29, going 2–0 with a 0.60 ERA (1 ER in 15 innings pitched), giving up eight hits, walking two and striking out 11.[27] Cueto earned his tenth win of the season on June 15 against the Brewers, allowing one run in seven innings while striking out nine, lowering his ERA to 2.10 (1.04 ERA in his last eight starts combined). Cueto became only the fourth Giants pitcher since 1958 to win 10 of his first eleven decisions on a season and the first since Tim Lincecum in 2008 (Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal both did it in 1966).

On July 6, Cueto was selected to his second All-Star game. At the time, Cueto had 12 wins against just one loss, having won nine straight decisions, compiling a 2.57 ERA across ​122 13 innings, and notching 107 strikeouts against just 23 walks and 102 hits, while giving up only six home runs.[28] In his final start before the All-Star break, Cueto threw another complete game, his fourth of the season, at home against the Colorado Rockies. He allowed just one run on five hits, walking only one batter and striking out eight, retiring 17 of the final 18 batters he faced, his Major-League leading 13th win on the season. Manager Terry Collins chose Cueto to start the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the National League. He started with his battery mate, Buster Posey who was the starting catcher for the National League, and received the loss, as the NL lost 4-2.[29][30]

Cueto posted an 0-2 record with a 4.84 ERA in his first six starts following the All-Star break, during which opposing hitters batted .284 against him and hit six home runs, as many as he had given up before the All-Star break. Cueto won his first game since the All-Star break on August 19 against the Mets, pitching seven innings of one run ball to improve his record to 14-3. Across his final seven starts of the season following his first post All-Star win, Cueto went 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 46 innings, averaging a strikeout an inning and holding opposing batters to a .228 batting average. In September, he pitched to a 4-0 record and a 1.78 ERA in ​35 13 innings, his lowest ERA in any month since tallying a 1.15 ERA in April 2014 with the Reds. Cueto threw another complete game, his fifth of the year (a new career high), against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 15, giving up two runs on five hits, walking one batter while striking out seven batters, during which he surpassed 200 innings pitched for the fourth time in his career (and in the last five seasons). On September 20, during a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cueto exited the game after ​5 13 scoreless innings due to a groin strain (he received the victory, allowing just eight hits and striking out six), causing him to miss his next start. Cueto finished the year on a high note on September 29 against the Colorado Rockies, in his final start of the regular season, pitching seven strong innings in which he gave up just two earned runs on nine hits and struck out 11 batters, as the Giants won the game 7-2.

Led by the strength of the pitching tandem of Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija (who combined to go 45-25 with a 3.09 ERA in ​649 23 innings with 616 strikeouts (for a K/9 rate of 8.53) across 98 starts), the Giants clinched a Wild Card berth, and defeated the New York Mets and advanced to the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. In Game 1 of the NLDS, in the midst of a duel with Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, after throwing 7⅓ scoreless innings, Cueto gave up a home run in the eighth inning to Javier Baez as San Francisco lost 1-0 to the Cubs (Cueto received the loss having pitched a complete game, striking out ten batters over eight innings while allowing just the one run on three hits without walking a batter). The Cubs would go on to win the series 3 games to 1, eliminating the Giants from the postseason.

Cueto finished his first regular season with the Giants with an 18-5 record and a 2.79 ERA in ​219 23 innings across 32 starts, tallying a total of 198 strikeouts against 45 walks while giving up 195 hits and 15 home runs. Cueto ranked among the league and baseball leaders in all major categories. He was third in the NL in wins (18), fifth in ERA (2.79), second in win percentage (.783%), third in innings pitched (​219 23), eighth in games started (32), first in complete games (5), second in shutouts (2), fifth in hits allowed (195), eleventh in hit batters (11), fourteenth in batting average against (.238), fourteenth in H/9 allowed (7.99), second in HR/9 allowed (0.61), eighth in WHIP (1.09), eighth in opponent OBP (.284), seventh in opponent SLG (.350), seventh in opponent OPS (.637), sixth in strikeouts (198), twelfth in K/9 ratio (8.11), third in BB/9 allowed (1.84), fifth in K/BB ratio (4.40), third in FIP (2.96), sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (147), first in win probability added (5.0), third in batters faced (881), fourth in quality starts (22), fourth in number of pitches thrown (3299) and second in number of batters picked off (5). Cueto was one of only six pitchers in the National League to pitch at least 200 innings during the 2016 season, and pitched more innings per game than any other qualified pitcher in the National League, averaging approximately 6.8646 innings pitched per start. His statistics for complete games, HR/9, BB/9, FIP and K/BB were all career highs. Cueto finished in sixth place in the voting for the National League Cy Young Award, behind Kershaw, Bumgarner, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. He received 3 third-place votes, 3 fourth-place votes and 4 fifth-place votes.

2017: Injuries and Inconsistency

Cueto began his second season in San Francisco as the Giants #2 starter once again right behind fellow co-ace Bumgarner. On April 4, Cueto made his season debut versus the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Despite giving up four earned runs on two walks and six hits (two home runs) across five innings, he was able to come away with the win in his season debut. In his outing he notched five strikeouts and helped tremendously with the Giants offense, contributing a single, an RBI and reaching base twice in the Giants 8-4 win. After pitching seven innings of two-run ball against the Rockies on April 14, Cueto became the first Giants pitcher to win his first three starts of the season in back to back years since Rick Reuschel did so in 1988 and 1989.. After revealing he had been suffering a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand since the culmination of spring training, Cueto struck out 10 batters and allowed just two earned runs in seven innings in his second start at Great American Ballpark since leaving the Reds, his fourteenth (fifteenth counting the postseason) double digit strikeout game, and he established the record for the most double digit strikeout games by a pitcher at the stadium (eight). Cueto returned to form on May 28 against the Atlanta Braves, allowing one earned run in six strong innings striking out eight batters, while tacking on a RBI sac fly and a sac bunt at the plate. Cueto then went winless in his next five starts, before posting his sixth victory of the season after allowing two runs in five innings against the Pirates on June 30. He was placed on the DL on July 15 following his first start after the All-Star Break with blisters on his right hand, while later suffering a slight forearm injury in his rehab assignment. At the time he was placed on the DL Cueto was 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA in 115⅔ innings (he had struck out 103), his worst ERA in a single season by that point since he was a rookie in 2008. Cueto finished the season 8-8 with a 4.52 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in ​147 13 innings (25 starts), striking out 136 batters as the Giants slumped to the worst record in baseball, finishing the season an abysmal 34 games under .500 (64-98).

2018: Tommy John surgery

In his season debut on March 30 against the Dodgers, Cueto carried a perfect game through six innings before giving up a single to Chris Taylor to lead off the seventh inning. Cueto finished his outing facing the minimum of 21 batters through seven scoreless innings, giving up the one hit while striking out four and walking none as he received a no-decision in a 1–0 Giants victory. Through his first four starts, Cueto led the major leagues with a 0.35 ERA, giving up just one earned run in 26 innings. On May 7, Cueto was diagnosed with a right elbow sprain. Though he was ruled out for 6-8 weeks, he did not require Tommy John surgery, much to the delight of Giants manager Bruce Bochy.[31] However, on July 30, Cueto went back on the disabled list due to an aggravated right elbow sprain.[32] On August 1, it was announced he would undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season. He finished the season with 9 starts and an ERA of 3.23 in 53 innings.[33]

Background and influences

Cueto's road to the Major League was a trying one because many teams were wary of his small stature. "Some told me I was too short, others thought I was in fact older than the age that appeared in my papers", said the right-handed fireballer. He is listed at 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m), but some believe he is closer to 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m). However, rather than give in to the criticism, Cueto looked to another undersized Dominican pitcher, Pedro Martínez, for inspiration. "Pedro has been my inspiration, the person for whom I decided to stop playing outfield to become a pitcher", Cueto said. "One of my biggest dreams is to be able to meet Pedro in person, shake his hand and tell him that he has been my hero and my role model."[34]

Pitching style

Cueto throws a variety of pitches, although his main ones are a four-seam fastball (91–97 mph), a two-seam fastball (89–94 mph), and a slider (81–88 mph), which he supplements with a cutter (87–92 mph), a changeup (82–86 mph), and a curveball (78–83 mph). Cueto only throws his changeup to left-handed hitters, and he rarely uses his curveball. He often likes to use his slider with two strikes.[35] Cueto's distinctive wind-up, which on some pitches begins by spinning back towards second base so that his back faces the batter, has been compared to that of Luis Tiant and Hideo Nomo.[36] Cueto's unorthodox delivery where he would turn towards second base then shimmy before the ball was thrown led Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to question its legality during and after Cueto's shutout of the Tigers in August 2015. Ausmus argued to umpire Joe West during the game and to reporters after the game that Cueto sometimes stops in his wind-up, thereby making those pitches illegal.[37] Throughout most of his career, Cueto has used his pitches from four different windups: the traditional windup, the 'Tiant', the quick pitch and the 'rocking chair', which have contributed majorly to his big league success. Cueto is able to trick batters using his variety of windups, creating an arsenal that has a depth of almost twenty different types of pitches, which has helped to make him one of the top ten pitchers in baseball since 2010.

World Baseball Classic

Cueto was a member of the Dominican Republic national baseball team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In his only start, an elimination game against Panama, Cueto earned the win after throwing 4⅔ scoreless innings, striking out five against one walk and three hits, the only member of his team to earn a win in the tournament following their elimination in their next game. He missed the tournament in 2013 due to injury. Cueto was scheduled to represent the Dominican Republic once again in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, but was unable to attend the opening rounds due to his father falling ill (the Dominican Republic was eliminated in the second round), thus Cueto missed the tournament again.

Personal life

Cueto has three children; two sons, Johnny Jr and Joande, [38] and one daughter, Yeiliani. His son, Johnny Jr was kicked out of his school for getting into a lacrosse fight.


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  11. ^ a b Sheldon, Mark (April 16, 2014). "Johnny Be Great: Cueto whiffs 12, blanks Pirates".
  12. ^ Sheldon, Mark (April 22, 2014). "Cueto-to-toe: Reds' ace outlast in duel".
  13. ^ Sheldon, Mark (May 15, 2014). "Here's Johnny: Cueto shines in historic shutout".
  14. ^ Sheldon, Mark (July 6, 2014). "Reds sending four players to All-Star Game".
  15. ^ "Johnny Cueto of the Reds named National League Player of the Week" (Press release). August 11, 2014.
  16. ^ Sheldon, Mark (September 28, 2014). "Cueto does it all vs. Bucs to notch milestone 20th win". Major League Baseball. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  17. ^ John Fay (November 12, 2014). "Johnny Cueto loses NL Cy Young to Clayton Kershaw". Gannett Company. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cincinnati Reds counter with home run in 8th to top Pittsburgh Pirates". Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  19. ^ "Reds trade Johnny Cueto to Royals for Brandon Finnegan, prospects". Sports Illustrated. July 26, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "Houston at Kansas City – 2015-10-14 – Major League Baseball – Yahoo! Sports". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Kansas City at Toronto – 2015-10-19 – Major League Baseball – Yahoo! Sports". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  22. ^ "Johnny Cueto 2-hits Mets as Royals win Game 2". Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  23. ^ "Johnny Cueto dominates Mets, Royals cruise to a 2–0 World Series lead". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  24. ^ "Giants finalize 6-year contract with pitcher Johnny Cueto". Associated Press. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  25. ^ Baggarly, Andrew (April 26, 2016). "Giants 1, Padres 0: Johnny Cueto punctuates 100th career win with shutout". Bay Area News Group.
  26. ^ Schulman, Henry (May 23, 2016). "Gimpy Hunter Pence gets Giants, Johnny Cueto a walk-off win". San Francisco Chronicle.
  27. ^ "Johnny Cueto of the Giants named National League Player of the Week" (Press release). May 31, 2016.
  28. ^ Haft, Chris (July 5, 2016). [ "Posey named starter as Giants get 3 All-Stars"] Check |url= value (help).
  29. ^ Associated Press (July 11, 2016). "Chris Sale, Johnny Cueto to start All-Star Game in San Diego". Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  30. ^ Kurtenbach, Dieter (July 11, 2016). "Johnny Cueto is a more-than-deserving All-Star Game starter". Fox Sports. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  31. ^ "Johnny Cueto out 6-8 weeks with a right elbow sprain". MLB. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  32. ^ "Johnny Cueto headed back to DL with elbow sprain". MLB. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  33. ^ "Giants' Johnny Cueto to undergo Tommy John surgery Thursday". SFGate. August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  34. ^ "Cueto Invokes Memories of Pedro Martínez". Crabcake Sports. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  35. ^ "PITCHf/x Player Card: Johnny Cueto". Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  36. ^ Kepner, Tyler (July 30, 2011). "Style Points for Reds' Cueto". New York Times ("Bats" blog). Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  37. ^ "Brad Ausmus says Johnny Cueto stopping in windup". ESPN. August 11, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  38. ^ "Johnny Cueto's kids are not only aware of their dad's shimmy, but they showed it off as well". Retrieved December 21, 2017.

External links

2009 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 2009 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the NL Central after finishing fifth in the division the previous year. For the second year, the Reds were managed by Dusty Baker. The Reds played their seventh season of home games in Great American Ball Park. The Reds finished the 2009 season 78-84, only four wins more than the 2008 season.

2010 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 2010 season was the 121st season for the franchise in Major League Baseball. The Reds began their season at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 5, losing 6 to 11. Cincinnati was coming off a 78-84 (.481) season and fourth place in the NL Central. The Reds were managed by Dusty Baker, who was in his third season with the team. His coaches were Mark Berry (third base), Billy Hatcher (first base), Brook Jacoby (hitting), Juan Lopez (bullpen), Bryan Price (pitching), and Chris Speier (bench). For the second year in a row, Cincinnati hosted the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game. They played St. Louis Cardinals and won 4 to 3. The majority owner of the Cincinnati Reds was Robert Castellini; the general manager was Walt Jocketty. Their home field was Great American Ball Park.

The Cincinnati Reds clinched the National League Central division and a trip to the MLB postseason on September 28 by a walk-off home run from outfielder Jay Bruce. This was the first time the Reds were in the postseason since the 1995 season. The 2010 season ended when the Reds were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS.

2013 Cincinnati Reds season

The 2013 Cincinnati Reds season was the 124th season for the franchise in Major League Baseball, and their 11th at Great American Ball Park. During the 2013 season, the Reds returned to the playoffs for a second straight season, after a 97–65 season in 2012, in which they lost in 5 games in the NLDS. On September 23, due to the Washington Nationals' loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds clinched a spot in the post-season. They entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team, becoming the first team to qualify for the postseason after finishing third in their respective division. They lost in the 2013 National League Wild Card Game to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

2013 National League Wild Card Game

The 2013 National League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2013 postseason played between the National League's (NL) two wild card teams, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 1, 2013. The Pirates won by a 6–2 score and advanced to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series. The game was televised on TBS, and was also broadcast on ESPN Radio.The game marked the first postseason appearance by the Pirates since 1992 and the Pirates' victory gave the team their first postseason series win since the 1979 World Series. This was the third postseason appearance for the Reds in four seasons. It was the sixth postseason meeting between the Pirates and Reds (the others being in the NLCS in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1979, and 1990). Pirates manager Clint Hurdle made his first postseason appearance since competing in the 2007 World Series as manager of the Colorado Rockies, while Dusty Baker fell to 0–3 in postseason appearances as manager of the Reds, a position from which he was relieved three days after the loss. The loss continued the Reds' postseason win drought, active since their last World Series championship in 1990.

2014 Cincinnati Reds season

The 2014 Cincinnati Reds season was the 125th season for the franchise in Major League Baseball and their 12th at Great American Ball Park. They finished 76–86, in fourth place in the Central division.

2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 85th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, held at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the home of the Minnesota Twins. This was the third All-Star Game played in the Twin Cities; Metropolitan Stadium hosted the game in 1965, while the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome hosted the game in 1985. It was televised in the United States on Fox as part of a new eight-year deal. In preparation for the game the Twin Cities' transit company, MetroTransit, completed the new METRO Green Line light-rail between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul, and began service on June 14, 2014.

2015 Cincinnati Reds season

The 2015 Cincinnati Reds season was the 126th season for the franchise in Major League Baseball, and their 13th at Great American Ball Park, which hosted the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14. The Reds finished the season with a record of 64–98, 36 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, second-worst in the National League, and their worst finish since 1982.

2015 Kansas City Royals season

The 2015 Kansas City Royals season was the 47th for the franchise, and their 43rd at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals made their second consecutive World Series appearance in 2015, after winning the American League in 2014. They won the series for the first time since 1985. The team won their first AL Central title on September 24, 2015, the first time the Royals won their division since 1985. They opened the playoffs by defeating the Houston Astros in five games in the Division Series and then defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in six games in the American League Championship Series. They defeated the New York Mets in five games in the 2015 World Series, the second World Series championship in franchise history. The 2015 Royals are the first team since the 1989 Oakland Athletics to win the World Series after having lost the series in the previous season.

2015 World Series

The 2015 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2015 season. The 111th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion New York Mets and the American League (AL) champion Kansas City Royals. The series was played between October 27 and November 1, with the Royals winning the series 4 games to 1. It was the first time since the 2010 World Series that the World Series extended into November. The Royals became the first team since the Oakland Athletics in the 1989 World Series to win the World Series after losing in the previous year. It was the first World Series to feature only expansion teams and the first since the 2007 World Series to not feature the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, or San Francisco Giants as the NL champions.

The Royals had home field advantage for the first two games of the series because of the AL's 6–3 victory in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was the 13th World Series in which home field advantage was awarded to the league that won the All-Star Game, a practice that was discontinued after the 2016 season. The series was played in a 2–3–2 format: the Royals hosted Games 1 and 2, and the Mets hosted Games 3, 4, and 5 (there was no Game 6 or 7, which the Royals would have hosted).

The Royals won Game 1 in extra innings. The Royals also won Game 2 with a complete game by Johnny Cueto, who allowed only one unearned run and two hits. With the series shifting to New York, the Mets won Game 3 with home runs by David Wright and Curtis Granderson. The Royals came from behind to win Game 4 after an error by Daniel Murphy led to a blown save by Jeurys Familia. Game 5 also went into extra innings, where bench player Christian Colón drove in the go-ahead run for the Royals, who clinched the series. Salvador Pérez was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 87th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game was hosted by the San Diego Padres and was played at Petco Park on July 12, 2016. It was televised nationally on Fox. The American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 4–2 to win home field advantage for the 2016 World Series (which went to the Cleveland Indians). This was also the last time home-field advantage for the World Series was determined by the outcome of the All-Star Game.

The host city was announced on January 15, 2015, by then-Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. This was the third time the city of San Diego hosted the All-Star Game and the first time since 1992.Eric Hosmer, an infielder for the Kansas City Royals, was named the 2016 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.

2016 San Francisco Giants season

The 2016 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 134th year in Major League Baseball, their 59th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 17th at AT&T Park. They advanced to the postseason as the second National League Wild Card, and defeated the New York Mets in the Wild Card Game. They were defeated in four games by the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs in the Division Series.

Cincinnati Reds award winners and league leaders

This article is a list of baseball players who are Cincinnati Reds players that are winners of Major League Baseball awards and recognitions, Reds awards and recognitions, and/or are league leaders in various statistical areas.

Cueto (surname)

Cueto is a Spanish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Al Cueto, former basketball player

Alonso Cueto, novelist and playwright

Anderson Cueto, football player

César Cueto, football player

Emilio Cueto, guitarist

Germán Cueto, Mexican painter, sculptor, puppet designer and puppeteer

Johnny Cueto (born 1986), Dominican baseball pitcher

Lola Cueto, Mexican painter, printmaker, puppet designer and puppeteer

Mark Cueto (born 1979), English rugby player

Matanza Cueto (born 1982), ring name of American professional wrestler Jeffrey Cobb

Mireya Cueto (1922–2013), Mexican puppeteer, writer and dramaturgFictional characters with the surname include:

Dario and Antonio Cueto, putative owners and promoters of the professional wrestling promotion Lucha Underground (Dario 2014–2017, Antonio 2018–). In storyline, Antonio is the father of Dario and Matanza Cueto.


Illeism (from Latin ille meaning "he, that") is the act of referring to oneself in the third person instead of first person.

Illeism is sometimes used in literature as a stylistic device. In real-life usage, illeism can reflect a number of different stylistic intentions or involuntary circumstances.

Johnny Almaraz

Johnny Bishop Almaraz (born September 1, 1965) is an American baseball figure who is currently the Philadelphia Phillies director of amateur scouting, replacing Marti Wolever. He is considered by some as "one of the most prolific talent evaluators in baseball."Before joining the Phillies system, he served as the Atlanta Braves director of Latin American operations for three years and the team's director of international scouting and operations for four. Prior to that, he was the Cincinnati Reds director of player personnel and director of player development. He also pitched for a year in the Reds system, having been taken by the club in the 14th round of the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft, one pick ahead of future National Football League player Rodney Peete and a few picks ahead of pitcher Victor Cole. He played for the Billings Mustangs, winning five games.

Players he signed include Johnny Cueto, Julio Teherán, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña, Adam Dunn, B.J. Ryan, Paul Bako, Jason LaRue and Jose Peraza.He attended Southwest Texas State University. His brother, Joe Almaraz, is a scout and has managed in the minor leagues; his nephew Joseph Almaraz was drafted by professional teams. He was born in San Antonio, Texas.

List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati who play in the National League's Central Division. In their history, the franchise also played under the names Cincinnati Red Stockings and Cincinnati Redlegs. They played in the American Association from 1882 through 1889, and have played in the National League since 1890. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor that is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Reds have used 76 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began play as a Major League team in 1882.

The Reds have played in several different home ball parks. They played two seasons in their first home ball park, Bank Street Grounds, and had one win and one loss in Opening Day games there. The team had a record of six wins and ten losses in Opening Day games at League Park, and a record of three wins and seven losses in Opening Day games at the Palace of the Fans. The Reds played in Crosley Field from 1912 through the middle of the 1970 season, and had a record of 27 wins and 31 losses in Opening Day games there. They had an Opening Day record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie from 1971 through 2002 at Riverfront Stadium, and they have a record of three wins and six losses in Opening Day games at their current home ball park, the Great American Ball Park. That gives the Reds an overall Opening Day record of 59 wins, 66 losses and one tie at home. They have a record of three wins and one loss in Opening Day games on the road.Mario Soto holds the Reds' record for most Opening Day starts, with six. Tony Mullane, Pete Donohue and Aaron Harang have each made five Opening Day starts for the Reds. José Rijo and Johnny Cueto have each made four Opening Day starts for Cincinnati, while Ewell Blackwell, Tom Browning, Paul Derringer, Art Fromme, Si Johnson, Gary Nolan, Jim O'Toole, Tom Seaver, Bucky Walters and Will White each made three such starts for the Reds. Harang was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher every season from 2006–2010. Among the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers, Seaver and Eppa Rixey have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.The Reds have won the World Series championship five times, in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990. Dutch Ruether was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1919, Derringer in 1940, Don Gullett in 1975, Nolan in 1976 and Browning in 1990. The Reds won all five Opening Day games in seasons in which they won the World Series. In addition, prior to the existence of the modern World Series, the Reds won the American Association championship in 1882. White was their Opening Day starting pitcher that season, the franchise's first. Jack Billingham started one of the most famous Opening Day games in Reds history on April 4, 1974 against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, Billingham surrendered Hank Aaron's 714th career home run, which tied Babe Ruth's all time home run record.

McCovey Cove

McCovey Cove is the unofficial name of a section of San Francisco Bay beyond the right field wall of Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, named after famed Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. The proper name for the cove is China Basin, which is the mouth of Mission Creek as it meets the bay. The cove is bounded along the north by Oracle Park, with a ferry landing and a breakwater at the northeast end. The southern shore is lined by China Basin Park and McCovey Point. To the east, it opens up to San Francisco Bay, while the west end of the cove is bounded by the Lefty O'Doul Bridge, named after San Francisco ballplayer and manager Lefty O'Doul.

Sarasota Reds

The Sarasota Reds were a professional minor league baseball team, located in Sarasota, Florida, as a member of the Florida State League. However team originally started play in Sarasota as the Sarasota White Sox in 1989. They remained in the city for the next 21 seasons, going through a series of name changes due to their affiliation changes. They were known as the White Sox from 1989–1993, as the Sarasota Red Sox from 1994–2004, and the Reds from 2004–2009. In Sarasota, the team played in Payne Park (1989) and then Ed Smith Stadium (1990–2009). They won two division championships, in 1989 and 1992, and made playoff appearances in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 2007.

However the roots of the Reds can be traced back, even further, to the Tampa Tarpons. In the 1980s rumors arose that a major league team would come to Tampa, which would threaten the viability of the Tarpons and other minor league teams in the Tampa Bay Area. In 1988 the Chicago White Sox replaced Cincinnati as the Tarpons' affiliate, launching murmurs that the White Sox would themselves relocate to the area. Fearing his team would soon be displaced, in 1989 Tarpons owner Mitchell Mick sold his franchise to the White Sox, who moved it to Sarasota, Florida as the Sarasota White Sox.The team's Sarasota era produced many notable player who would go on to play in majors. Bo Jackson, Mike LaValliere, Dave Stieb, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas and Bob Wickman all played for the Sarasota White Sox. Meanwhile, Stan Belinda, David Eckstein, Nomar Garciaparra, Byung-hyun Kim, Jeff Suppan, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis were alumni of the Sarasota Red Sox. The Sarasota Reds also produced many notable major league players such as Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto, Chris Heisey, and Drew Stubbs.

After the Reds' spring-training departure from Florida's Grapefruit League to Arizona's Cactus League in 2009, the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates did an "affiliate-swap". The Pirates took over the Sarasota Reds, while the Reds became the parent club of the Pirates' former Class A-Advanced affiliate, the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League. The Pittsburgh Pirates have had their spring training facilities based in Bradenton, Florida since in 1969, when the city met with Pirates' general manager Joe Brown and owner John W. Galbreath and both sides agreed to a lease of 40 years, with an option for another 40 years. On November 10, 2009, baseball officials voted to allow the Pirates to purchase and uproot the Sarasota Reds. The Pirates moved the team to Bradenton, where they were renamed the Bradenton Marauders. The Marauders became the first Florida State League team located in Bradenton since the Bradenton Growers folded in 1926.

Two-seam fastball

A two-seam fastball is a pitch in baseball and a variant of the straight fastball. The pitch has the speed of a fastball and can also include late breaking action caused by varying the pressure of the index and middle fingers on the ball.

San Francisco Giants current roster
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