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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JOHNNY CUETO SP SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

It has been a season to forget for San Francisco Giants ace SP Johnny Cueto and the topper likely was the UCL sprain he suffered while rehabbing from never-ending blisters this season. It is now likely that Cueto is out for the remainder of the season and for he and his fantasy baseball owners, it was nothing short of massive stress.  Counted on to be a fantasy baseball ace, Cueto instead pitcher to a ugly 4.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 8.01 K/9 rate. This after years of pitching like an SP 1 and who put up a 2.79 ERA a year ago. So what went wrong here and was it just ill health as the cause?

Clearly health was a major factor in the ugly Cueto year but not all of it. For one thing, Cueto saw a dip in velocity for the fourth season in a row, going from an average fastball of 94.1 in 2014 to just 91.9 this season. That has caused Cueto strikeouts to tumble and without as good swing and miss stuff, home runs and hits increased. We see this starkly in Cueto's ugly 1.48 HR/9 which is a hideous rate and up from 0.61 last season.  Cueto also fought his control like he never has before as his 3.19 BB/9 is his highest since first breaking into the major leagues.  Combine all this together and it has been a brutal season to say the least.

When you put it all together, I have big worries here. Cueto has always been on the small side and pitchers with his lanky frame lose their fastball quicker then bigger hurlers. That could mean no more ace Johnny Cueto and maybe not even an SP 2 either. Rough times could continue on.  

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