Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Cueto set to make first spring start Saturday

Right-hander expects to pitch an inning or two vs. Reds
Special to MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After missing the early part of Spring Training while tending to his ailing father in the Dominican Republic, Johnny Cueto is poised to make his first spring start for the Giants on Saturday.

Cueto threw live batting practice at Giants camp Wednesday and reported good results following his first time on the mound in Scottsdale.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After missing the early part of Spring Training while tending to his ailing father in the Dominican Republic, Johnny Cueto is poised to make his first spring start for the Giants on Saturday.

Cueto threw live batting practice at Giants camp Wednesday and reported good results following his first time on the mound in Scottsdale.

Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

"It went well," Cueto said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "I threw 65 pitches."

While back home, Cueto was on a pitching schedule, throwing bullpen sessions and eventually throwing live batting practice at the Giants' complex.

"We had him on a schedule in the Dominican," manager Bruce Bochy said of Cueto, expressing confidence he'd be ready to start the second game of the season behind Opening Day starter Madison Bumgarner. "He threw to hitters on the back field the other day. He's got time to get ready. He's probably where he was last year, to be honest. It's a very similar situation."

Cueto was on a delayed track in 2016 Cactus League play as a result of pitching deep into October for the World Series-champion Royals.

He expects to throw an inning or two in his Cactus debut against the Reds, and he expects to be ready to take his spot in the Giants' rotation come Opening Day.

Video: Top Ten Right Now: Johnny Cueto comes in eighth

"I think I'm ready for the season," Cueto said. "That's what I was working on in the Dominican. There's still a month left."

Cueto was 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the Giants over 32 starts in 2016, with 198 K's and just 45 walks. He had double-digit strikeouts in four games.

Last season marked the third time Cueto has won 18 or more games; he won 19 games in 2012 and 20 games in '14, both seasons for the Reds.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Johnny Cueto