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Royals DFA former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Maikel Cleto

Former St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Maikel Cleto has been designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals.

Cleto, now only 24, has allowed 25 hits in 15 2/3 major league innings spread out over three seasons. He was claimed off waivers by Kansas City on June 23 and spent the rest of the 2013 season in the minor leagues.

He was 1-2 with a 3.55 ERA with the Class AAA Omaha Royals.

The Royals had to get rid of Cleto to clear space for outfielder Jimmy Paredes who was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.

The Cardinals acquired Cleto in 2011 in the trade that sent shortstop Brendan Ryan to the Seattle Mariners.

A hard thrower with questionable control, Cleto slipped down the depth chart as the Redbirds' surge of power arms climbed through the minor leagues.