Maikel Jose Cleto
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 234 lb.
- High School Escuela Nocturna San Felipe
- Debut June 2, 2011
- Final Game September 26, 2014
- Born May 1, 1989 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional D.R.
Cleto was signed by Ramon Pena for the New York Mets in August 2006. He debuted 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, 34 in 135 2/3 innings, then allowed five runs in five innings in a late season start (a loss) for the St. Lucie Mets. He led the South Atlantic League in wild pitches and tied Henry Rodriguez for most in the affiliated minors. Cleto was dealt that winter to the Seattle Mariners, 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 nine outings. With the 2010 High Desert Mavericks, Cleto was 4-8 with a 6.16 ERA.
Prior to 2011, Cleto was traded again, to the St. Louis Cardinals, for shortstop Brendan Ryan. He made his major league debut with the Cardinals on June 2, 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. In his debut, a relief outing, he was roughed up a bit, coughing 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. Maikel would make 13 appearances across the next three seasons to a 10.34 ERA in 15 2/3 innings. The White Sox reeled him as a waiver claim before the 2014 season, permitting him 28 appearances with an 0-1, 4.60 record and 32 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. He spent the next two seasons in the minors before moving to the Mexican League in 2017 for three seasons.
Sources include 2009 Baseball Almanac, 2010 Mariners Media Guide