The Chicago White Sox were terrible in 2022 but there were some good stories throughout the season. Few of them match the good feelings you got when you watched Johnny Cueto pitch for them. He came in with very mixed expectations and was truly sensational.
The White Sox were able to cut Dallas Keuchel because he was so bad and it was thanks to the rise of Cueto in the rotation. He signed late and needed to earn his way in. He was meant to be a number five but ended up being the number two.
Cueto wasn't supposed to be as good for the White Sox as he was but people will always remember him as a bright spot on a bad season. It would have been nice to see the team play better around him but it just wasn't meant to be.
It is sad that the team wasn't able to take advantage of his brilliance. If you were to tell people that Cueto would be borderline elite going into the season, they'd think this team was going to win the pennant. The rest of the squad really let him down.
Cueto made 24 starts after missing the start of the season due to earning his spot on the Major League roster after signing late. He had a 3.35 ERA over those 24 starts which helped him accumulate a 3.5 WAR on the season. It was a really nice year in every way.
Final Grade: A
Johnny Cueto was amazing for the Chicago White Sox in 2022.
Johnny Cueto gets an A for his grade. It would be nitpicking to give him a B. He came in and not only met expectations, but he blew past them and impressed everyone. It was truly a great year for him that is probably going to earn him a decent contract this winter.
The White Sox won't commit to him and bring him back which could be smart or it could be a mistake. There is a chance that he regresses after his great year but don't count him out yet. He is well-conditioned and very talented.
The White Sox signed Mike Clevinger so you can say goodbye to Cueto but as mentioned before, he will be with another team in 2023. He still has a lot more to give to baseball and has earned another great opportunity. Hopefully, he gets a chance to pitch a lot on a winning team.