In case you missed the news, David Villavicencio reports that Johnny Cueto will pitch against the Mets on Monday the 20th. Cueto has made two rehab starts for Class A Dayton. He allowed only one run across eight innings with the Dragons, striking out eight and walking none.
James Gentile looked at which pitchers have most effectively shut down the running game since 2002. There are a handful of pitchers who bested Cueto in that time frame, but the Reds' ace has improved each season since Cincinnati called him up in 2008. Gentile points out that Cueto is almost too good at controlling the running game as opposing players have almost stopped running on him completely. Much of the value in preventing thefts on the basepaths lies in throwing out baserunners, and you can't throw out too many players at first base. Josh Tomlin is the poster boy of this effect as he threw 165.1 innings in 2011 without a single steal attempt. A similar phenomenon occurred with Johnny Bench. Once the National League got a look at Bench's arm, teams stopped running on him, and that limited the value of his defense.
Redleg Nation's Jason Linden reviews early developments in the division.
Joey Votto comes in at number 45. Hat tip to Red Hot Mama's Zeldink for the link.
Colin Wyers responds to a tweet from Jon Heyman. If you read only one of these links, then I highly recommend that you make it this one. Wyers asks some very good questions about WAR and its defensive component. I believe that both those who like WAR and those who dislike WAR will enjoy the article.
Rany Jazayerli offers his take on the Astros' rebuilding process.
BPro's Ben Lindbergh investigates the increasing focus on pitch framing by organizations around baseball.
Max Marchi boldly goes where no pitch framing analyst has gone before: He uses Retrosheet play-by-play data to find the best pitch framers of the past 25 years.