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San Francisco Giants: Cueto dazzles the A’s in his final spring tuneup

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on September 25, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 9-2. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on September 25, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 9-2. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants showed up against the A’s today. Whether it was Johnny Cueto shimmering his way on the mound, or Steven Duggar displaying his basketball hops, it was a good Sunday afternoon.

Despite all of the injuries this spring to the San Francisco Giants starting rotation, Johnny Cueto did not disappoint in his final outing. Cueto, who went 8-8 with a 4.52 era last season certainly was one name to keep an eye on in the spring.

In his final start of the spring, Cueto showed that he is ready to be the leader of the rotation without Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija. He went, 5.2 innings with six strikeouts and one earned run. That is exactly what Bruce Bochy was hoping he would get out of his former Cy Young candidate.

Cueto looked as sharp as we’ve seen him this spring. One thing you know you’ll always get from Cueto as well is the innings. The Giants bullpen seems to be very busy for the first couple weeks without Bumgarner and Samardzija, but having a guy like Cueto will relieve some of the pressure on the bullpen.

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Cueto is a guy that Bruce Bochy hopes he can get 7-8 innings every single time he takes the mound. If he can get back to the ace he was in 2016, it would be a major relief to the Giants. The main problem last year was the health of Cueto. But, assuming there is not injury, there is reason to believe that Cueto will get back to being that ace.

Although it should be noted that with the start today, Cueto took himself out of the Opening Day start against the rival Dodgers.

Instead, the Giants will counter Clayton Kershaw with another southpaw, Ty Blach. It comes to many Giants fans surprise that Blach was the one to get the start over the veteran Cueto.

One thing that might be taken as a note though is that Blach has two hits against Kershaw.

It remains to be seen what Bochy will do with the rest of his rotation, but Cueto will certainly find a start in the opening series.

Next: Previewing the 2018 Rockies

Steven Duggar has been one name that many Giants fans have kept an eye on over the spring. He certainly hasn’t disappointed with his case to be the starting center fielder on opening day. Against the A’s today he marveled Giants fans with a beautiful catch, robbing Matt Joyce of a two-run home run. Austin Jackson seemed to be the name coming into the spring as the the starting center fielder, but Duggar might be the one that finds himself in the opening day lineup.

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