On Saturday, the 24-year-old right-hander tossed eight scoreless innings, limiting the Los Angeles Dodgers to six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks as the Reds clinched their second National League Central title in three years with a 7-0 victory.
The cost for acquiring Latos was substantial for the Reds, who shipped right-handed starter Edinson Volquez, top prospects Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal along with promising minor league reliever Brad Boxberger to San Diego for the 11th round draft pick out of Broward Community College in 2006.
The Reds believed that Latos, who posted impressive back-to-back seasons on a rebuilding Padres club, would give them dual aces by teaming him with Cueto. They were right. Cueto is 18-9 with a 2.84 ERA while Latos is 13-4 with a 3.60 ERA, including a 4-1 record and a 2.57 ERA over his last 10 outings.
The Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants, two teams that will also be in the postseason, have more rotation depth than the Reds, but Cincinnati’s duo of Cueto and Latos match-up with Washington’s Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann and San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain.