There was a time not so long ago when the heat of the struggle would get to Johnny Cueto. He'd stand behind the mound, push his hat back, shake his head and look like he wanted to be anywhere but in the jam he had gotten himself in.

No more.

"He always had good command," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He always had good stuff. He's worked on his composure. He doesn't get rattled now as easily."

One stat points to how well Cueto keeps his cool: He faced 20 batters last year with the bases loaded. Hitters went 0-for-17 against him. He walked two and gave up a sacrifice fly.

Cueto, the 27-year-old right-hander, is coming off a breakout year. He went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA . He set highs for wins, innings (217) and strikeouts. He became the first Red with at least 19 wins and an ERA under 3.00 since Danny Jackson in 1988. He was the first Reds right-hander to do it since Jim Maloney in 1965.