White Sox purchase Johnny Cueto’s contract to start grind of a week

Aside from Dylan Cease starting one of Tuesday’s doubleheader games, the White Sox left their pitching plans for the upcoming five-game, four-day series in Kansas City to be announced.

The White Sox came through on their promise, at least for tonight. They announced that Johnny Cueto is on the 26-man roster and scheduled to start at Kauffman Stadium at 7:10 p.m. CT. He’ll be facing a Royals team that just fired its hitting coach.

In order to make room, they optioned Danny Mendick to Charlotte.

Cueto signed a minor-league deal that gave him a $4.2 million salary prorated on days spent in the big leagues, with the ability to opt out by Sunday if the Sox weren’t keen on giving him an opportunity on the 26-man roster. That puts him on track for a $3.4 million or so the rest of the way.

Cueto last pitched in the majors for the Giants in 2021, for whom he went 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA over 114⅔ innings. He missed time in April due to a lat strain, and most of the last month with an elbow strain. He did return for a brief outing at the end of the season, but he was left off the Giants’ postseason roster. That’s all why he was available for a minor-league in the run-up before Opening Day.

Cueto tuned up with four starts for Charlotte. He allowed nine runs on 15 hits and four walks over 15⅔ innings, striking out 17 batters. I saw him make his organizational debut for the Knights in Nashville, and I’d hoped that he had more to show than 89-91 with misses over the middle of the plate. In the three starts since, he’s sat 91-92 with better location on his secondary pitches, and all with the pitch clock bearing down on him. The idea is that without 14- and 18-second constraints, he’ll have his full array of delays to throw off the timing of the hitters.

He’ll probably need a few starts for everybody to better understand what he has left, but the recent improvements of Dallas Keuchel and Vince Velasquez (Yankees start notwithstanding) make a back-of-the-rotation fixture a little less pressing than it was at the time the Sox signed Cueto. Right now, they just need somebody to pick up a start and allow everybody else to throw on normal rest, and then the return of Lucas Giolito from the COVID-19 list will further inform later plans.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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vince

What’s it going to take for the Sox to fire their hitting coach?

gibby32

Perhaps it will take him not doing his job, as opposed to the hitters not doing theirs.

lifelongjd

I like Menechino and genuinely think he has a good approach from what I’ve read. I think his personality lends itself to having players tuning out after a while as he is fairly intense. Might be time to find a new voice.

a-t

I feel like pitching to the current iteration of the Royals in Kauffman’s generous confines is perhaps easier (from a pure run prevention standpoint) than pitching to AAA teams in Charlotte’s bandbox

mikeyb

Off topic, but I hadn’t really thought about the need for different pitch clocks with guys on base vs. bases empty until this article. Does anybody know if base stealing has gotten easier in the minors with runners able to time pitchers who use up the whole pitch clock?

metasox

I wondered about this as well. Plus whether throwing to a base would stop the clock

Last edited 6 months ago by metasox
jhomeslice

Glad they finally picked up the option. I think a good chance he proves to be a lot better than VV, hopefully.

itaita

Welcome to the Sox Johnny. Enjoy your complementary 1 run of support as they face a soft tossing righty.

texag10

LOL, like we will even get 1 run.

Joliet Orange Sox

The Sox will likely get at least one run. They’ve only been shut out once this year. The run(s) may often come when it’s too little too late but they usually come.

Last edited 6 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
jhomeslice

Maybe I am totally crazy for thinking this, but I have a feeling they might get 2 tonight.

I probably need to calm down.

Last edited 6 months ago by jhomeslice
texag10

I know you’re right but it just doesn’t feel right. Like in the broadcast yesterday when they said the Sox were 7-3 in their last 10. It was objectively correct but my brain sure thought it was BS.

Trooper Galactus

Weird how long ago that 6-game winning streak feels given how badly they’ve played since.

a-t

A white-hot Yankees team will do that

Trooper Galactus

Or a White Sox team that’s still flailing a month into the season.

BenwithVen

La Russa sticking Vaughn in the 9 hole with a bunch of dead weight ahead of him.

Yup, I’m done with this guy.

HallofFrank

TLR would make a great internet troll.

a-t

Tony listened to the complaints about the bottom of the lineup sucking and responded accordingly

Trooper Galactus

Wait, there were people complaining about the bottom of the lineup?

a-t

there have been (deserved) complaints about the last third of the lineup comprising of McGuire-Garcia-Harrison wholly too often. which, of course, is secondary to the fact that the Abreu/Grandal/Pollock trio are not producing remotely like they should

Augusto Barojas

Vaughn should be hitting 4th or 5th, it’s about time Abreu and Grandal get moved down in the order until they get their shit together.

chipporter

Reverend Barojas, please turn to your right and face the choir when speaking.

texag10

So maybe people who have better access/knowledge than me can help me out. It appears that, after the criticism from last season, we are shifting more now. However, it also appears that said shifts are more “shifting for shifting’s sake” than based on any kind of analytics. Like, La Russa is giving us a giant middle finger and saying “you want shifts? here you go”. I am admittedly biased in this regard though.

Trooper Galactus

We might be shifting more than last year, but “more than when we were dead last” isn’t really a high bar to set, and I think it’s pretty clear that shifting doesn’t necessarily equate to proper positioning.

a-t

I went looking into OAA for various CHW defenders, because they’re league-worst there, and found that 1) It predictably hates Vaughn and 2) there something very odd going on with Leury’s numbers because Statcast has him as -212 (!!!) OAA at second base this year

texag10

OAA is apparently broken at the moment

mrridgman

I have no expertise when it comes to positioning; however, I noted that there were several ground ball singles against Keuchel and Kelley the other night, none of them scorched, and wondered whether Sox either A)have, or B)listen to, any positioning professionals? With ground ball pitchers, it becomes somewhat important.

Root Cause

I haven’t paid close enough attention. I thought most of the issues this year was due to being shiftless.

As Cirensica

I think you are mistyping shitting

metasox

Remember when La Russa hit the pitcher 8th and an actual hitter 9th. This looks like a bit like that.

Anderson leads the team in average and OPS. I can see wanting someone getting on base ahead of him, if that is the logic. Though with Leury hitting a little better, he could fit the role as well

Last edited 6 months ago by metasox
jhomeslice

I stand by the notion that if managers had a WAR stat, TLR would be between -5 and -10 by the end of the year. With lineup choices plus intangibles, I don’t think that’s much of an exaggeration.