Cueto slated to make Royals debut on Friday
CLEVELAND -- Newly acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto will make his Royals debut on Friday in Toronto, manager Ned Yost said on Monday.
Cueto last pitched on Saturday for the Reds in Colorado, so his normal fifth day would be Thursday. But Yost said he's giving Cueto an extra day to get better acclimated to his new team.
"Also, it gives him an extra day to throw a side," Yost said.
Left-hander Danny Duffy will pitch on Thursday in the series opener against the Blue Jays.
Yost and the Royals will have two interesting and difficult decisions to make starting on Tuesday, when Cueto arrives here at Progressive Field and is put on the 25-man roster: First, they must decide who comes off the 25-man roster, and then, down the road, who comes out of the rotation.
The Royals don't have any logical candidates on the staff who have any options left and could be sent out. That could make right-hander Joe Blanton vulnerable. Blanton, though, has been solid in his last two outings and overall has been a sound edition to the staff.
Yost also will have to decide between Jeremy Guthrie and Chris Young as to who comes out of the rotation.
Young pitches on Tuesday and Guthrie on Wednesday in the final two games of the Indians series.
"We don't have to make [that decision] now," Yost said. "And we haven't made it."
The decision could come down to who can better pitch out of the bullpen.
"Chris has shown he can do it," Yost said. "Guthrie has never really been put in that position.
"It all factors in."
Meanwhile, as the Royals prepare for Cueto's debut, he will wear No. 47 -- that is Franklin Morales' number. Morales has agreed to switch to No. 45.
But it will come with a price.
"Nothing is free, man," Morales said as his teammates urged him to demand at least a watch in return from Cueto.