Aug 21, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) reacts after the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
The start to Cueto’s Royals career can be called average. He hasn’t exactly gone in and lit things up. His overall mark of 2-5, 4.86 isn’t exactly what they traded for. In August, he threw a total of 35 innings that resulted in an ERA of 3.86. A total of 142 batters have hit a line of .275/.298/.489. After posting two straight months where batters weren’t even hitting .200 against him, the Royals were hoping for more after the Trade Deadline. August also saw him strike out the fewest per 9 of the season: 6.43. Now, it also saw his lowest total of walks per 9. Hitters pulled more balls against him for more line drives.
Cueto’s foray into September has been even worse. His ERA in September sits at a healthy 9.00. He’s faced 45 happy batters who have collected a line of .381/.422/.463. Part of that might be due to a .444 BABIP. After all, his FIP is a tidy 2.81. He’s also given up the highest rate of hard hit balls of the season at 33.3%
Over at Call to the Pen, Josh Sippie outlined the disappointment that Cueto has been for Royals fans. He even went so far as to suggest that perhaps the Royals might adjust their rotation. As he points out, that is not likely. But, the fact that it even comes up shows the sentiment around this deal. Sippie also points out Cueto’s playoff track record. Cueto certainly isn’t the ace that David Price is. The Blue Jays did well to avoid this deal.
Next: The Shark's Lost His Bite