GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He can hit 100 mph on the radar gun but White Sox pitcher Maikel Cleto focused on command over the winter.
Now he’d like to see some dividends for his efforts.
The right-hander, who was claimed off waivers from Kansas City on Wednesday, said he’s optimistic about his new opportunity with the White Sox. The White Sox are equally excited about Cleto’s presence, too, as general manager Rick Hahn described the pitcher as a project who has a big arm.
“I worked very hard in winter ball, and mostly worked on sharpening my pitches, basically location and all that stuff,” Cleto said through a translator. “I feel good right now, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Cleto, 24, offers intrigue because he had 89 strikeouts in 91 1/ 3 innings at Triple-A last season. On the flip side, he also walked 74 batters and allowed 84 hits.
But Cleto performed well when he pitched for Licey in the Dominican Winter League. He struck out 13 and only walked two with two hits allowed in 9 2/3 innings.
“I’ve got a good velocity, but when I was in the Dominican in winter ball, I concentrated on location,” Cleto said. “That’s important to me.”