Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 3, 2008
BASEBALL: Johnny K Good

Johnny Cueto made his major league debut for the Reds today, and in 7 innings he struck out 10, walked nobody and allowed just one hit (a Justin Upton homer). How rare is this? I looked for rookie pitchers racking up double-figure strikeouts without walking anyone, and since 1956 (as far as baseball-reference.com's database goes back), it's been done 50 times in a pitcher's first 30 major league appearances, but (1) none of those was a major league debut (Andy Sonnanstine, Frank DiPino and Dennis Ribant did it in their second, third and third appearances, respectively) and (2) only two of them allowed just a single hit, Kerry Wood in his 20-K game and Kevin Millwood.

During the same period, 16 pitchers racked up 10 Ks in their big league debut, the lowest BB totals being 1 for Dice K, Steve Woodard and Juan Marichal, and 2 for Mark Prior and Don Aase.

Conclusion: Cueto is in company with some very good pitchers, some guys who started great and petered out, and some other people who never made it big at all. Jury's still out. But it's a good start.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 4:15 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

And take a gander at this kid's minor league numbers.

http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=18931

Yowzah! He's the real deal.

Of course, he's a 22 year-old real deal hurling for Dusty "What The F*ck Is A Pitch-Count?" Baker, so who knows where this is headed? But that was no fluke.

92 pitches in 7 innings? With 10 Ks?? 68 of them for strikes??? Wow.

Posted by: Mike at April 4, 2008 6:39 AM

I watched the game. He made one bad pitch. I mean that literally. And it wasn't the home-run pitch--that was actually a good pitch. He made the D'Backs look silly.

It was cold and wet. I'm not sure if that helped or hurt him. Probably works both ways. I guess I'd rather pitch in 50 and rainy than 95 and humid.

Posted by: Alex at April 4, 2008 8:00 AM

Dusty took him out after 7, hopefully that's evidence that he's learned his lesson.

As a Reds fan, I don't ever remember being this excited about a rookie pitcher. Homer Bailey came in with a lot of hype, but didn't come anywhere close to living up to it last year in the big leagues -- although he still has potential.

Posted by: B at April 4, 2008 5:13 PM

Dusty learn his lesson? Not likely.

92 or so pitches . . . on opening day . . . by a 22 year-old in his 1st MLB start . . . when it was cold & drizzly? Nah, that's the Baker we know & love.

I bet Cueto hits 125 pitches before the end of May. And hopefully he doesn't hit the DL by June. I don't see this ending well.

Posted by: Mike at April 5, 2008 9:12 AM
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