SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants will go at least one more turn through the spring rotation without their top right-hander.
Johnny Cueto didn't arrive over the weekend, as hoped, but general manager Bobby Evans said Cueto is now expected in camp later this week. Cueto has missed the first two weeks while tending to his 71-year-old father, Domingo, who has been dealing with health problems. The Cuetos are trying to secure a visa for Domingo so he can come to the United States, and the Giants believe that process should be wrapped up in the next couple of days.
While Cueto has missed workouts at Scottsdale Stadium and the early slate of Cactus League games, he has been throwing bullpen sessions in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic. Cueto has faced Giants prospects during live BP sessions, too.
"It's not the same as having Rags and Gardy's hands on you and facing big leaguers and pitching in games here," Evans said. "But there is a large percentage of value in what he's doing there. Based on our calculations, assuming this doesn't go much longer, he should be lined up for the start of the season."
Cueto's participation in the World Baseball Classic remains up in the air, and Evans said that while Cueto has communicated to the Dominican team that he may not be able to play, a final decision has not been made. The Dominican Republic is scheduled to open play on March 9 in Miami. The Giants have not yet told Cueto that he has to skip the event, but the timeline is starting to make the decision a no-brainer. Coaches and players surely would not be thrilled if Cueto showed up later this week and then immediately left to represent another team. Cueto had originally been scheduled to start multiple spring games before leaving for the WBC.
Cueto's first regular season start will come April 4 at Chase Field in the second game of the season.