Cardinals fans know the name Maikel Cleto, even if we may not know how to spell it correctly. He was the hard throwing A ball pitcher that we got from the Seattle Mariners for fan favorite and defensive wizard, Brendan Ryan.
Fans of the former Cardinals shortstop will call this a dumpster dive for the sole purpose of getting rid of a clubhouse distraction. No so fast, friends. This kid named Cleto has some serious talent. And we know what happens when pitchers don the Birds on a Bat, right ?
After an impressive start with the Palm Beach Cardinals, Cleto was promoted to Springfield (AA). He would get in one quick relief appearance before settling into the rotation. Here’s how his AA career has gone so far.
|May 13||NW Ark||ND||5||5||4||3||4||3|
|May 19||Arkansas||L (0-1)||6||3||3||0||6||3|
|May 29||San Antonio||W (1-1)||6||6||1||1||9||2|
Looking a little deeper into these four starts reveals a far more interesting story. One that will seem all too familiar to fans of Chris Carpenter.
In both of his starts where he did not receive a decision, Cleto left the game with a lead and was in position for the win. Nick Greenwood would get lit up on one of the games, and Jesse Simson would do similarly in the other, costing Cleto two wins. I guess they call that stat a BS for a reason.
His sole loss came at the hands of Oragel Arenas of the Arkansas Travelers, who threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings. Talk about lack of run support and a hard luck loss. Sometimes, you have to tip your cap to the better pitcher on that day, and Arenas was simply brilliant.
The questions surrounding Maikel Cueto have nothing to do with whether or not he could retire major league hitters. It was whether or not he could keep the opposition off the bases, thus keeping his runs allowed down. So far in 2011, Cleto has done exactly that.
The fact that Cleto is on the Cardinals 40 man roster, and the bullpen is somewhat gassed due to some early starter exits the last few games, don’t be surprised if you see this big kid in a Cardinals uniform in the next few days. If so, opponents will get to face another Jason Motte type, throwing 100 MPH gas in the late innings. There is one big difference – this one has an actual secondary pitch.