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Johnny Cueto to the rescue!

Veteran is called up from Charlotte, starts tonight in Kansas City

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
He’ll be in a different uniform and city for this next White Sox-Royals game, but Johnny Cueto is back in the majors, starting for the South Siders tonight.
Jon Durr/Getty Images

On Monday, the White Sox called Johnny Cueto up from Triple-A Charlotte, and he will start in Kansas City tonight against the Royals.

Organizational yo-yo for 2022, Danny Mendick, was demoted back to Charlotte to open up a roster spot for Cueto.

There’s not a ton more to say that you don’t already know. Cueto is a desperation move from a franchise that let Carlos Rodón walk without even a QO, and with no starting pitching depth whatsoever. Injuries that have kept Lance Lynn out all year and put Lucas Giolito on the IL shelf twice already this season, as well as Michael Kopech’s amorphous but almost certain innings limit have conspired to make Dylan Cease the only White Sox starter with a hope of 180 innings this season.

On that note, here is the White Sox release, copyedited and in full:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE: Monday, May 16, 2022


KANSAS CITY — Prior to tonight’s series opener at Kansas City, the Chicago White Sox purchased the contract of two-time All-Star right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto from Triple-A Charlotte and optioned infielder Danny Mendick to the Knights.

Cueto will start tonight’s game at Kauffman Stadium.

Cueto, 36, was 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA and 17 strikeouts in four starts with Charlotte after signing with Chicago as a minor-league free agent on April 8. He will wear uniform No. 47.

The 5´11´´, 225-pound Cueto spent the entire 2021 season with San Francisco, going 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 22 starts last season. Cueto’s win, IP and strikeout totals were his most since 2017.

Cueto has recorded three seasons of 18-plus wins, five seasons of 150-plus strikeouts and four years of 200-plus IP. He is a two-time All-Star (2014, ’16) and led the National League with 242 strikeouts in 2014. Cueto is 135-97 with a 3.45 ERA, 1,710 strikeouts, 17 complete games and eight shutouts in 330 career appearances (329 starts) over 14 major-league seasons with the Reds (2008-15), Royals (2015) and Giants (2016-21).

Cueto has made eight career postseason starts with Cincinnati (2010, ’12-13), Kansas City (2015) and San Francisco (2016). He helped lead the Royals to the 2015 World Series championship after being acquired from the Reds as part of a four-player deal on July 26, 2015. Cueto allowed one run on two hits in a complete-game win in Game 2 of the Fall Classic vs. the Mets.

He originally was signed by the Reds as an international free agent on March 8, 2004 as an 18-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. Cueto ranks among the all-time leaders for Dominican-born pitchers in ERA (fourth), wins (tied for fifth), starts (sixth), IP (seventh) and strikeouts (seventh). Among active right-handed pitchers, Cueto ranks fifth in starts, wins, IP and ERA, ninth in strikeouts and 10th in winning percentage.

Mendick, 28, is hitting .217 with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in 11 games over two stints with the White Sox this season.

The White Sox 40-man roster increases to 40. Third-base coach Joe McEwing will switch to uniform No. 99.

After reading this excited release, a word of caution for those thinking the White Sox have All-Star Cueto in the fold. In addition to injury issues that plagued him after signing a six-year, $130 million deal with the Giants in 2015, the veteran righthander hasn’t had even an average, healthy year since 2017.