Before the season Reds fans and analyst everywhere would have told you Johnny Cueto was the ace of the Cincinnati Reds staff.
They were right, Cueto has been the ace of the staff, but not any more. Mat Latos is the new ace of the staff, his 14 wins matches his total from 2012 and leads the Reds.
When the Reds acquired Latos before the 2012 season many Reds fans were skeptical. Giving up some big name prospects for a pitcher that was coming off a 9-14 season seemed risky. Latos has proven himself in Cincinnati now, he has posted 14 win seasons the last two seasons. His 2.98 ERA leads the team while he ranks second behind Homer Bailey in strikeouts and WHIP.
Latos threw a complete game Monday afternoon against the hated St. Louis Cardinals giving up only 2 runs and 4 hits in the process. His complete game gave Latos his 14th win of the season. One of the biggest reasons Latos isn’t around 20 wins this season has been the lack of offense, on Monday though the team gave him plenty of run support and Latos delivered a great performance.
With Cueto out most of the season the Reds needed someone to step up. That someone appears to be Mat Latos. Latos still feels new to the team from a leadership standpoint. With a two year deal and arbritation available in 2015 Latos could very likely be the ace of the staff for years to come. The Reds have shown recently that they are willing to pay players, Latos is a guy the front office should keep around.
Anyone that has met Mat and his wife Dallas know what great people they are. They are active in the community, Dallas is overly active on twitter. Most of all they are great for the city.
Latos will likely lead the Reds into the playoffs, if he continues to pitch like he did today Cincinnati may have a shot. Now maybe he can spark some fire under a couple of the other pitchers.