Having had the chance to watch Johnny Cueto pitch a handful of times this year, I’ve noticed that there’s really nothing too overpowering about the guy. And that’s not a knock on him at all. If anything, it’s a compliment. He doesn’t have the 95-96 MPH fastball that he used to have anymore. He consistently sits around 92-93, but there’s nothing wrong with that when you have the bag of tricks that Cueto has. Between having a deep arsenal of pitches — he’s got a fastball, a curveball, a slider, a changeup, a cutter, and a sinker — and about three different windups, the man knows how to pitch.
He’s not going to blow you away with anything, but he’s going to keep you guessing, and he has mastered the art of deception when it comes to pitching. That’s really all there is to it, and it’s been reflected by his MLB-leading four complete games, and his 2.47 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, both of which are sixth best in the MLB this year. With Clayton Kershaw having missed some time with a back injury recently, Cueto is now the major league leader in innings pitched, with 131.1 innings under his belt. Not that they’re a great way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance, but Cueto is also the National League leader with 13 wins this season. He’s 13-1, and his one loss came in a game in which he gave up only three earned runs over seven innings.