I suspected that the Cardinals might replace injured outfielder Matt Holliday with a pitcher because the bullpen has taken a beating lately and, frankly, the club doesn't have a whole lot of position players on the 40-man roster that seem like they'd make much of an improvement to the big club.
But I admit that the idea that the pitcher in question might be Maikel Cleto never crossed my mind.
Cleto, who turned 22 in May, is the guy the Cardinals got from Seattle over the winter in exchange for fan favorite but clubhouse irritant Brendon Ryan. His reputation was that he could throw the ball through a wall -- if he could hit the wall...
In 10 games with Class AA Springfield Cueto was 2-2 with a 2.55 ERA.
Never miss a local story.
According to Baseball America, Cleto has an excellent sinking fastball that he can routinely throw at 96 miles an hour -- although reports are that he has lit up the radar gun this season to the tune of 100 MPH. He throws a mid 70s breaking ball that is inconsistent and he has a tendency to telegraph it by slowing down his delivery when he throws the breaking ball.
He's struck out 58 Class AA hitters in 53 inning pitched while walking 20.
If the Cardinals have a stockpile of anything it seems to be hard throwing relief prospects. But I guess that's something you can't have too much of.