Cueto defying Father Time, but regression looms

Chris Crawford dives into one of the most fun pitchers of the 2022 season, Johnny Cueto, and discusses how some advanced metrics may express cause for concern that regression is likely on the horizon.

Video Transcript

- One of the most surprising, and fun, stories of the 2022 season has been the success of Johnny Cueto. A player that was a complete afterthought coming into the season has registered a 2.89 ERA in 13 appearances over 81 innings, and he's been a lifesaver for a White Sox rotation that has dealt with both poor performances and injuries. It is no fun to be the bearer of bad news, especially for a pitcher that is as fun as this, but if you're one of the lucky few that is rostered him with great success, it's reasonable to wonder when the luck is going to run out.

It's not all negative here. Cueto has done a great job of throwing strikes. He's also in the 66th percentile of getting hitters to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone, AKA chase rate. But he's in the bottom two percentile in whiff percentage, and he's in the bottom 40 or worse in expected slugging percentage, expected batting average, hard-hit percentage, and, of course, strikeout percentage.

Bottom line-- Cueto has been very fortunate to put up the results he has. No one should be surprised if this comes crashing down in the final two months of the season, even if it'd be awfully fun if it didn't.