In 2004, the Reds signed an amateur free agent by the name of Johnny Cueto out of the Dominican Republic. In 2013, that same player enters the season as the undisputed ace of the pitching staff.
Cueto will turn 27-years-old on Friday, but he has already established quite the resume for himself in five big league seasons. The right-hander finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting last year after tallying a 19-9 record and a 2.78 ERA in a career-high 33 games started. He also tallied career-highs in innings pitched (217), strikeouts (170), WAR (5.8), and K/BB (3.47).
Despite emerging as one of the National League's best starting pitchers in recent years, Cueto has yet to garner an invite to the All-Star Game. Cueto can probably thank an old grudge and former Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa for that, but I digress.
Cincinnati suffered quite a scare and quite a setback when Cueto was forced to exit Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants after straining an obli...