Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

Pitcher waiting on ailing father's visa to travel from Dominican Republic

Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants general manager Bobby Evans indicated Monday that the delay in obtaining a visa for Johnny Cueto's father could be resolved soon, meaning that the All-Star right-hander could report to Spring Training within a few days.

"Later this week is our hope," Evans said.

Arriving from the Dominican Republic by then likely would give Cueto sufficient time to prepare for his first regular-season start, which probably will be Game 2 on April 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Based on our calculations, assuming this doesn't go much longer, he should be well-lined up for the start of this season," Evans said.

Cueto's readiness to compete for the Dominican team in the World Baseball Classic is a different issue. To join that squad, Cueto would be expected to leave the Giants on Sunday or next Monday, March 6. Evans said that Cueto not only has thrown regular bullpen sessions at the Giants' state-of-the-art Dominican academy in Boca Chica, but also has pitched "live" batting practice to hitters. Evans said he has spoken only once to Cueto in recent weeks but has been satisfied by videos of him throwing.

Ultimately, the Giants will determine whether Cueto is physically prepared to handle the transitions to and from the Classic and whether he can cope with the strain of pitching competitively for the Dominican team after little or no formal Spring Training.

If Cueto doesn't report to the Giants by Friday, they probably would not allow him to pitch in the Classic.

"When he gets over here, it'll be a matter of how much we want him to do before he pitches in a game," Evans said. "That's something that Rags [pitching coach Dave Righetti] and he will have to discuss."

Under ordinary circumstances, Cueto would have reported to camp on Feb. 13 with San Francisco's other pitchers and catchers. But his 71-year-old father fell ill, compelling Cueto to care for him -- with the Giants' blessing. Cueto apparently decided to bring his father with him to the United States but lacked proper documentation, causing the ongoing delay.

The Giants also experienced Spring Training complications with Cueto last year, when he dealt with an injured left groin. He worked seven innings or more in each of his first five regular-season outings, started the All-Star Game for the National League and finished 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA, one of his better seasons.

Cueto can opt out of his six-year, $130 million contract after this season.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.