Maikel Jose Cleto
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 234 lb.
- High School Escuela Nocturna San Felipe
- Debut June 2, 2011
Maikel Cleto made his major league debut in 2011.
Cleto was signed by scout Ramon Pena for the New York Mets in August 2006. He made his pro debut with the 2007 GCL Mets, going 1-2 with a save and a 5.03 ERA; he walked 25 and threw eight wild pitches in 34 innings. With the 2008 Savannah Sand Gnats, he was 5-11 with a 4.25 ERA but threw 25 wild pitches. He walked many fewer per inning, though, with 34 free passes in 135 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs in five innings in one late-season start (a loss) for the St. Lucie Mets. He led the South Atlantic League in wild pitches and tied Henry Rodriguez for the most in the affiliated minors.
Cleto was dealt that winter to the New York Mets, joining Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas and Mike Carp in exchange for J.J. Putz, Jeremy Reed and Sean Green. He missed most of 2009 due to two separate injuries, going 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA in his nine outings.
With the 2010 High Desert Mavericks, Cleto was 4-8 with a 6.16 ERA. After the season, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for SS Brendan Ryan. He made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2011, after starting the season at Palm Beach in the Florida State League, and then graduating to the Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League after 5 starts. He was a combined 2-2, 2.55 in 10 games when the Cardinals called him up to The Show in early June. he made his debut in relief on June 2nd and was roughed up a bit, giving up 5 runs in 2 innings, including back-to-back homers by Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez, in a 12-7 loss against the San Francisco Giants. Another pitcher making his debut, Lance Lynn, had started the game and was charged with the loss.
Sources include 2009 Baseball Almanac, 2010 Mariners Media Guide