Monday, August 1, 2011

Line of the Day: Johnny Cueto: July 31st, 2011

Johnny Cueto allowed just three hits, no runs and struck out six in leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-0 win over the San Francisco Giants. It was the fourth complete game and second shutout of his career. (video recap)

Line: 9 IP | 3 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 6 K; W | QS | CG | SHO

My fantasy perspective: Cueto missed the first month of the season with arm issues but finally has pitched enough innings to qualify for the major league lead in ERA at 1.72 but a FIP of 3.35 and an xFIP of 3.81 show there's room for a good bit of regression.

He's striking out less batters (15.5%) than in any other year in his career but inducing ground balls at a career-best mark of 53.4%. Is a 0.98 WHIP really sustainable for a guy with a career 1.29 WHIP? Plus, batters are hitting just .192 with a ,219 BABIP.

Question: Are we finally seeing Cueto mature into the front-of-the-rotation starter some expected or has he simply been the benefactor of good luck?

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