Johnny Cueto- CIN- Cold- One thing has been contributing greatly to the almost doubling of Cueto’s ERA from 2.17 on June 14th to the 4.06 ERA. That is an inability to keep the baseball from reaching the stands. In his past 7 starts, covering 39.1 IP, Cueto has allowed 10 homers. Projected over a 200 IP season, that would be about 50 homers allowed (yes, I can multiply 10 times 5). Only once in that span has Cueto gotten more ground outs than fly outs. Unless he can get the ball down, his ERA will continue to go up.
Jonathan Sanchez- SF- FYI- Sure, he there a no hitter, but what has Sanchez done lately? Over the past two starts he has struggled with the strike zone, that’s what. His 12 Ks in 10.2 IP have been good, but the 7 walks are not. He has had some real troubles in this area, with two starts of 6 or more walks earlier. Consistency is an issue, but obviously Sanchez can be dominating. If he can keep the ball near the strike zone he has success.
Tom Gorzelanny- CHN- FYI- Gorzelanny makes his first start for the Cubs tonight in Cincinnati. Last year he performed significantly worse away from PNC Park (9.25 ERA) than at home (4.53 ERA). Given Great American Ballpark’s tendencies to favor hitters, starting there today could be a bad thing for Gorzelanny.
Zach Duke- PIT- FYI- What’s this? A decent player still left in Pittsburgh? How did they miss him? It might feel like a new team for Duke, who saw what seemed like just about everyone he shared the lockers room with shipped out, but he was still a Pirate when the dust settled. He is taking on the Diamondbacks tonight at PNC Park, where he has an ERA half a run better (3.00) than he does on the road (3.51). Duke is not getting a huge boost from luck (.272 BHIP) and his K ratio is slightly better than recent years, but still not exciting. Duke just seems to be settling down as a solid pitcher. That will undoubtedly earn him a ticket out of town at some point.
Mark Reynolds- ARI- Hot- Reynolds hit his 31st and 32nd homers last night at Citifield. He also struck out twice. With a .277 mark Reynolds has a better average than the usual “all or nothing” type hitter. In 387 ABs Reynolds has struck out 145 times, a number that would make Rob Deer blush. That makes it tempting to pitch to him. However he has already drawn 52 walks and with little protection behind him in the lineup, that number may rise. Combine these things together and that may soon lead teams to give him the Adrian Gonzalez treatment.