June 3, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Maikel Cleto (63) pitches during the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

September Call-up Candidate: Maikel Cleto


In today’s look at potential September Call-ups, we arrive at a polarizing figure in the Cardinals camp. Most are indifferent towards Cleto, but to some he represents the loss of defensive whiz Brendan Ryan. Personally, I don’t think Ryan was a huge loss, but that doesn’t mean I supported the move at the time. Ryan is the best defensive shortstop in the game, but his complete lack of hitting ability made him replaceable. Cleto has seen some time with the Cardinals last season and this season, but hasn’t been very successful. His stuff is absolutely electric, but his BABIP shows that he faces a bit of bad luck. His biggest issue at the major league level has been the longball. In 2011, he only had four and a third innings worth of an audition, but gave up two homers and four walks. This season, he has appeared in nine games and pitched nine innings total. He appears to have reigned in his control issue, but with four home runs given up, he is still a victim of the meatball. His AAA numbers show that he isn’t usually as prone to getting hit around, but they do show the one thing that is important about Cleto: strikeout potential. Cleto is a power arm with electric stuff. At 23, he is still young enough for something to click. Due to his big league experience and upside, I think it’s a no-brainer that he gets the call in September.

Redbird Rants prediction: September Call-up

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Tags: Brendan Ryan Maikel Cleto September Call-Ups