At the end of the 2012 season, there was little doubt on who was the ace of the Cincinnati Reds’ rotation in Johnny Cueto. Cueto will come into the 2013 year looking to improve even more on a very impressive season. Cueto went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA for the Reds last season as the team won the National League Central, but Cueto got hurt in the postseason and couldn’t pitch the critical Game 5 which the Reds lost. I really think that this season may be even better for Cueto.
Cueto has been nearly unhittable the last two seasons in fact with a 28-14 record in 57 starts. The pitching delivery that Cueto has which can be compared to Luis Tiant, confuses hitters so much that they have no clue what is coming. It was that thing that made Tiant successful and is now doing the same thing for Cueto. The Reds have improved in the offseason with the addition of Shin-Soo Choo and that addition will bring even more offense to an already talented group of hitters.
I think Cueto is going to finish with 20 wins this season which Cueto just missed pulling off last season with the additional talent on the roster. Cueto is signed through 2014 as well with a team option for 2015 and the Reds should probably just give Cueto a new deal while they are at it. Cueto is scheduled to make $7.4 million this season and $10 million in 2014. It may be time for Cincinnati to reward Cueto with a new four-year deal worth $60 million to make sure that Cueto goes nowhere soon. If that happens or not, Cueto has become one of the top pitchers in all of MLB and probably will be for the next few seasons.