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Minor league careerEdit
Cueto was in the Minor Leagues for three seasons, and has excelled at many levels, but really turned heads during the 2007 season. Cueto started his career for the Gulf Coast Reds of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, posting a 5.02 ERA, before being promoted to the High-A Sarasota Reds of the Florida State League, where he finished his 2005 season. Johnny has had progressively better seasons since. In 2006, Cueto was placed in Low A Dayton, blasting out of the gates, and posting a 2.61 ERA, and a 0.88 WHIP. While with Dayton, on May 13, 2006, he threw a rain shortened no-hitter against Wisconsin. He was later promoted back to Sarasota, where he finished his season for the second consecutive year. Poised for a breakout 2007, Cueto was placed, once again, in Sarasota. He pitched 14 games in Sarasota, before going on a hot streak, and advancing through three levels in one season. He burnt through AA Chattanooga, and AAA Louisville throughout the rest of his 2007 campaign. He was named the Reds' Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Major league careerEdit
Rookie season (2008)Edit
Cueto made his Major League debut on April 3, 2008 for the Reds at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he carried a perfect game through five innings before surrendering a home run to Justin Upton in the top of the sixth inning. The home run was the only baserunner he allowed, striking out 10 in 7 innings. Cueto was credited with the win in his debut, as the Reds hung on to win 3-2. Johnny is the first Red since 1900 to throw ten strikeouts in his Major League debut. He was also the first MLB pitcher to have 10 strikeouts and 0 walks in his debut. He was the third in MLB history to have 10 strikeouts and give up only 1 hit. For the game, Cueto's ERA was 1.29 on 92 pitches. Despite his impressive debut, Cueto was inconsistent for the most part on the season. At the end of the 2008 campaign, he finished with a 9-14 record with an ERA of 4.81.
Cueto started 2009 as the Reds #4 starter. Cueto's ERA was initially one of the best in the majors, leading the NL at one point at 2.17. His BB/9 lowered as the 2009 season progressed. He found the strike zone more often, resembling the 2008 performance of his teammate Edinson Volquez. On July 6, 2009, Cueto suffered the worst defeat in his young career. Taking the mound against the Phillies, he was shelled; Cueto allowed 9 earned runs on 5 hits, walking 3. To top it off, all this happened in the first inning, and Cueto was taken out of the game after only recording two outs. The Phillies scored 10 runs that inning.He would finish the season with a record of 11-11, and an ERA of 4.41.
Cueto started the 2010 season as the Reds' third starter. After getting off to an average start, Cueto delivered arguably his best performance since his debut on May 11, pitching a one hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He walked none and hit one batter, leading the Reds to a 9-0 victory.
On August 12, Cueto was suspended 7 games for what Major League Baseball called "violent and aggressive actions."  During a bench-clearing brawl in the first inning of a game on August 10, Cueto, with his back to the backstop, began kicking wildly at various Cardinals, injuring Chris Carpenter and Jason LaRue.
Background and influencesEdit
Cueto's road to the majors has been a trying one because many teams were wary of his small stature. "Some told me I was too short, others thought I was in fact older than the age that appeared in my papers," said the right-handed fireballer. He is listed at 5-10 but some believe he is closer to 5-8. However, rather than give into the criticism, Cueto looked to another undersized Dominican pitcher, Pedro Martínez, for inspiration. "Pedro has been my inspiration, the person for whom I decided to stop playing outfield to become a pitcher," Cueto said. "One of my biggest dreams is to be able to meet Pedro in person, shake his hand and tell him that he has been my hero and my role model."
World Baseball ClassicEdit
- ↑ Dayton Daily News - No, No, for Cueto!!
- ↑ Johnny Cueto Statistics (Minor Leagues) - Baseball-Reference.com
- ↑ The Official Site of The Cincinnati Reds: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- ↑ Fay, John (2008-04-04). Lineup v. Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-05-21.
- ↑ http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=456501
- ↑ http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=211568&catid=40
- ↑ MLB to give Ryan group OK today