KC Royals: How the Starting Rotation Stacks Up

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Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2: Johnny Cueto

Johnny Cueto has been shaky, but has come up clutch at the K and in key moments.  When KC Royals GM Dayton Moore picked up Cueto in a blockbuster deadline trade, he did not foresee the tragedy that would follow. Cueto performed well at first, but has since fallen flat and with an exception of one game, has been nothing but a nuisance for the Royals. In his last postseason start at the K (which happened to be the ALDS deciding game five), Cueto tossed eight complete innings and allowed just two runs on two hits. He got beaten up on game three of the ALCS when he was tagged for eight runs while only recording six outs. The last time Johnny Cueto walked off of a baseball field, he looked to the sky and embraced the sarcastic chants of his name raining down on him from the fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Manager Ned Yost has faith in Cueto, saying that he will “fix some things up and will be sharp the next time he pitches.”  Yost made the decision to start Cueto at Kauffman Stadium in game two instead of in game three on the road because of the crowd energy that would allow Cueto to feel more at home and less stressed.

Regarding the Mets, they had 25 total plate appearances in one game against him this year; they posted a whopping 2-25 with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. Of course, the Cueto with the Royals is a lot different than the Cueto with the Reds, but he was good against the Mets in the regular season and the Royals hope that it will carry over into game two. Cueto will attempt to out-duel the red-hot Jacob deGrom in game two.

Cueto has been a giant question mark all year with the KC Royals, he will need to come up big in what will be his final hurrah before free agency.

Next: He's been a different pitcher over the past couple of months