Corcino Follows In Cueto's Footsteps
CINCINNATI — In 2008, the Reds put Johnny Cueto in the rotation out of spring training, even though he'd made just 14 starts above high Class A.
Fellow righthander Daniel Corcino has similar stuff to Cueto and put up similar numbers in the minors. But Corcino has no shot at making the club this spring. That says more about the Reds' improved pitching depth than it does about Corcino.
Corcino will be given time to grow in the minors, but his ceiling is similar to that of Cueto.
The 22-year-old went 8-8, 3.01 for Double-A Pensacola last year. He struck out 126 and walked 65 in 143 innings.
"God kept me healthy," Corcino said. "It was a good season. Now, I'm working hard in the offseason to get ready. I'm going to big league camp. I'll work with the staff. I'm continuing to work on my pitching command."
That's key. Corcino, who is physically similar to Cueto, was Cueto's workout partner during spring training.
"He tells me what I've got to do on every pitch," Corcino said. "He tells me when he was like me he watched the other guys and learned how to do it."
Corcino, who signed in 2007, throws a fastball, slider and changeup. Mario Soto, a Reds special assistant, teaches the young Dominican pitchers the changeup as soon as they sign.
Corcino should start at Triple-A in 2013.
"I want to continue to work hard," he said. "I'll pitch wherever they send me."
• Lefthander Tony Cingrani will continue to work as a starter, even if the Reds fail to add a lefthanded reliever. Cingrani pitched out of the major league bullpen in September of the last year.
• First baseman Neftali Soto's forgettable season continued in winter ball in his native Puerto Rico. After hitting 31 home runs in 2011, he hit just .245/.313/.400 for Triple-A Louisville in 2012 and .218/.278/.346 this winter.