© Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
In a few hours, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers will play a baseball game. It’s a real baseball game with real players. Johnny Cueto will face Clayton Kershaw, and aside from the nonexistence of fans, it might almost feel like there’s a tinge of normalcy in the world.
Manager Gabe Kapler joined the Murph and Mac show on Thursday morning, revealing a handful of the players on the 30-man roster, and expressing his optimism for Cueto.
“Johnny Cueto is now healthy coming off an injury last year and getting his feet wet at the end of last year, coming through our first camp and this camp healthy,” Kapler said. “Being able to maintain his delivery and repeat his release point and having that cool mix-and-match delivery where he can pause, he can quick-pitch you and still be able to maintain control of his body, deliver strikes and put the ball where he wants to put it. I’m excited to see that on a big stage today. Johnny Cueto has been a really good pitcher for a long time.”
Kapler was asked by Murph, effectively whether Cueto would have a pitch count, leading with, “Now I’m not gonna ask you how long he’s gonna go, but…”
After poking fun at the “I’m not gonna ask you how long he’ll go, but how long is he gonna go?”-type question, Kapler said there’s no exact limit for Cueto, but he’s not likely pitching a complete game.
“If he’s effective and he’s efficient, we’re going to push him as far as we can take him,” Kapler said. “There’s no pre-set number of pitches. Well, let me take a step back. Within reason, we’re going to push him. He has earned the right to continue to go out there and get outs as he’s capable of getting outs and we’re not going to limit him.”
Cueto has progressed pretty far beyond other pitchers in the organization, Kapler said.
“With respect to the other pitchers in our rotation, some of them are just not as built up as Johnny is right now,” Kapler said. “I think Johnny could give us five if we needed him to, whereas with some of the other pitchers in our rotation, they’re more in the three-to-four range. And some are only up to about two [innings] right now.”
Listen to the full interview below: