SAN FRANCISCO — Johnny Cueto made only five appearances over the final two months of the season because of elbow issues, but the veteran right-hander said Saturday he “felt bad” to be left off the Giants’ NLDS roster..
“My first reaction was I felt really bad,” Cueto told MLB.com’s Justice de los Santos and KNBR’s Danny Emerman through an interpreter before Game 2 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. “Number one, because it had never happened to me. Throughout my career, I made the team. But when the manager told me that I was not on the roster, obviously I felt bad.”
Cueto, who pitched in the post-season with the Reds, Royals and Giants during his 14-year career, was in the mix as a potential long reliever for the best-of-five game series against the Dodgers. His lone appearance in September was in relief. But manager Gabe Kapler and his staff instead went with hard-throwing relievers Zack Littell and Kervin Castro.
Cueto, 35, said he wasn’t upset that he received the news Thursday night in a phone conversation with Kapler, but conceded it was “uncomfortable.”
“Getting that news on the phone made me feel bad, because you don’t want to hear that type of news over the phone,” Cueto told the reporters.
Kapler was asked about the phone exchange during Saturday’s pregame media session, saying Cueto handled the news “like a pro” and that the pair wanted to discuss the decision in person, but logistics forced them to talk on the phone instead.
“By the time we had made the decision on the postseason roster, most everybody was gone from the ballpark,” Kapler said. “(I) gave Johnny a call and he was like, ‘I prefer to have this conversation in person.’ I said great, I’ll come meet you wherever you are. Johnny decided that he wanted to have that conversation on the phone because obviously it would have taken some time to go out and and meet him.
“I would have been happy to go have a drink with him and chat through it with him. Then we talked about it the next day in person, sat down and discussed it and he was a total pro about it.”
Cueto is eligible for the NLCS roster if the Giants advance past the Dodgers.
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Author: Laurence Miedema