White Sox looking for Johnny Cueto’s help ‘sooner rather than later’

After watching video of Johnny Cueto’s start at Charlotte last Thursday — four scoreless innings (45 pitches) with one hit, no walks and six strikeouts — White Sox manager Tony La Russa is anticipating the 36-year-old veteran helping the Sox.

“Based on how he’s pitched, we’re looking for his help sooner rather than later,” La Russa said. “It’s been impressive so far. He can help us.”

Cueto is expected to pitch for Charlotte on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mendick, Severino to Charlotte

Infielder Danny Mendick and left-handed pitcher Anderson Severino were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte to get the Sox in compliance with the 26-player roster limit, which began Monday.

Mendick was hitting .250 (5-for-20) with one home run and three RBIs in 20 games. He figures to be back at some point.

“He knows his value to our club,” La Russa said. “If you look at the options, there’s nobody else that made sense. He’ll be ready when we ask him to come back.”

Severino, who made his major-league debut on April 14 against the Mariners, had a 6.14 ERA in six appearances (7 1/3 innings), with four walks and nine strikeouts. He had three scoreless appearances, but allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Rays on April 17 that blew up his ERA.

“Severino knows that except for the one appearance, he’s really pitched effectively, become a weapon for us,” La Russia said. “He’s … trending up. So he felt good about it.”

Injury report

La Russa said outfielder Andrew Vaughn is “improved by not major-league ready,” as he recovers from getting hit by a pitch from the Angels’ Mike Mayers on Friday. X-rays were negative, but La Russa, as he has with every injured player, is being cautious with Vaughn’s injury.

“He’s still got discomfort when he swings. It’s still sore,” La Russa said. “The wrong thing to do would [be] to trot him out there. We’ve got good alternatives, so [he’s[] improving, which is good. [But] not ready.”

Right-hander Joe Kelly, rehabbing a right biceps injury at Charlotte, could be back by next Monday,” La Russa said, knocking on wood. Kelly threw a 17-pitch scoreless inning at Charlotte on Sunday.

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