Is Cueto slated to join White Sox's rotation Tuesday?
Even with Wednesday afternoon's game against the Guardians postponed after Cleveland manager Terry Francona and five of his coaches tested positive for COVID-19, the White Sox are still in a busy stretch of schedule with 12 games in 11 days.
On Tuesday, the Sox play a doubleheader against the Royals in Kansas City. They'll need a starting pitcher for one of the games and Johnny Cueto is the overwhelming favorite to get the nod.
"I know we're staying in touch on a daily basis and it's being discussed," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "We're expecting that, sooner rather than later."
A veteran of 14 seasons with the Reds, Royals and Giants, Cueto signed a minor-league contract with the Sox in early April. If he's not in the majors by May 15, the 36-year-old pitcher can opt out of the deal.
In his fourth start for Class AAA Charlotte, Cueto went 5⅓ innings against Indianapolis Wednesday night and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk to go with 6 strikeouts.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA in 4 starts with Charlotte. Last season, Cueto was 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 22 starts for San Francisco.
White Sox reliever Joe Kelly got a chance to see Cueto when he was rehabbing with Charlotte and liked what he saw.
"He was commanding all of his pitches for strikes," Kelly said. "He could dot. Some umpires give up on some of the ways his balls move, and they move a ton. So when he's flipping pitches and they're strikes in the strike zone but the umpire thinks it runs off, that might get him into trouble. But these guys up here, big-league umpires, they know that.
"They know Johnny, they know how it moves. But he's getting his pitch count up and he looks great. He's definitely going to help us this year."
Wednesday's postponed game between the White Sox and Guardians will be made up on July 23 as part of a split doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Game 1, the makeup game, starts at 12:10 p.m. Game 2 is set for 6:15 p.m.
Among others, Sox manager Tony La Russa was caught off guard when Wednesday's game was called off after Cleveland manager Terry Francona and multiple coaches tested positive for COVID-19.
"It was a shock, a surprise," La Russa said. "But you understand it's possible and you take a day off and go play a doubleheader in July."
There was an inaccurate report making the rounds Wednesday -- White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez is rapidly recovering from April 26 torn hamstring tendon surgery and is rejoining the White Sox's lineup in two weeks.
Jimenez has been taking batting practice and running, but a 6-8 week recovery period remains the more accurate return window.
"He is a product of the modern science miracle," manager Tony La Russa said. "Several days after the surgery he was walking around without a limp. He's jogging, he's swinging. Now what that actually means is, what we don't want to do is push it ahead x number of days and then lose him, so we're going to make sure to build up all the strength and stamina and everything. But he's really improving and it's exciting we're going to get him back."