Cueto showing leadership
On MLB.com/Reds.com, there will be a story posting soon that Johnny Cueto had a successful bullpen session Sunday morning. That clears the way for him to likely start on Tuesday at Philadelphia. Go to the web site for all the details.
Of course, the Reds are thrilled that Cueto missed only one start for right elbow stiffness, and that it wasn’t worse. Not only is his presence needed on the mound, but the three rookies in the rotation have had a good leader to follow in the ace.
“It has been, more and more so since Bronson Arroyo] left,” manager Bryan Price said of Cueto’s effort at leadership. “I think he’s kind of accepted that role. We have some really good, really good established starting pitchers that can share really good information with this young group. That includes Johnny and Homer [Bailey] and [Mike] Leake are guys that really have been here with us, they know our system, they know our expectations from a pitching standpoint and can be really good council to our younger pitchers.
Cueto, Bailey and Leake are following a leadership path blazed in recent years by both Arroyo and Aaron Harang. Both were the staff veterans that helped show younger pitchers the way to be prepared and pitch.
“I think that it’s a combination of things,” Price said. “No. 1, it’s having really good leadership from Bronson, No. 2 I think we’ve cultivated an expectation of really pitching well. We haven’t been great the last couple of years, (but) we still have the expectations of what hard work looks like. Especially out of the rotation, making sure that you’re pitching your innings and doing all of the stuff that you need to between starts to be ready to pitch those innings.”
Not said, of course, is that this could very well be the last year for both Cueto and Leake in Reds uniforms as they can be free agents at season’s end. Especially with Cueto, the young guys should soak up all they can. Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias have both made it a point to sit near him on the bench during games and Lorenzen has told me in the past that he talks to Cueto often about pitching.