For those of you that are concerned that Johnny Cueto hasn't progressed, I give you Adam Wainwright. Wainwright was a highly touted prospect himself, but by the time Wainwright was Cueto's age, he was still trying to stick in the big leagues. He didn't get a starting gig in the majors until 2007, when he was 25 years old. Even then, he still had some bumps. He saw his walks increase and his strikeouts dip. He also surrendered a lot of hits and was starting to be called overrated as a prospect. Then he busted out last year and finished in third place in the Cy Young balloting.
Will Johnny Cueto follow the same path? It's unlikely. My point is that each pitcher is going their own path. Some pitchers make the leap like Homer Bailey did. Some pitchers work on tweaks over time to get to where they need to be. I'd love it if Cueto became a star this year, but honestly all I really want is progress. He showed progress last year - his control was much better for most of the season - and now I'd like to see those strikeouts come back with some of that control. At 24, he's still a couple of years from being considered a finished product. Just remember: It only ends once, everything else is just progress.
As you know, there will be a large contingent of Red Reporters at the game tonight and there is rain in the forecast. Don't be surprised if you see trouble being made in the moon deck.