Johnny Cueto didn’t have too much trouble with the Pittsburgh Pirates today. All he did was toss a three-hit shutout while striking out 12 and not walking a soul. He needed 107 pitches so he didn’t get The Maddux, but he probably didn’t sweat too much all the same.
The Pirates beat Cueto convincingly in the NL Wild Card game last fall, but today was a totally different story. In some ways an umpire-assisted story — at least from the Pirates’ perspective — as eight of his 12 strikeouts came on called third strikes. Many Pirates hitters looked back at Triple-A umpire Quinn Wolcott who was working the plate today. That stuff happens sometimes, though. We don’t have robot umps yet, so you sorta have to adjust your approach if you’re not getting the calls. The Pirates didn’t figure out how to do that.
Joey Votto hit a two-run homer, and the Reds ended up winning 4-0. It was the Reds’ first series win of the year.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”