White Sox pitcher Johnny Cueto will make first start Monday vs. Royals

Right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto will make his season debut for the White Sox tonight in Kansas City.

The Sox on Monday purchased the contract of two-time All-Star from Class AAA Charlotte and optioned infielder Danny Mendick to Charlotte.

Cueto, 36, pitched 51/3innings of three-hit ball for Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday.

Cueto lacks velocity, but he makes up for it with crafty pitching, and he has been known to vary his tempo at extreme rates to keep batters off-balance. Cueto is 135-97 with a 3.45 ERA in 15 seasons with the Reds, Royals and Giants.

The move plugs a hole in the rotation with Lucas Giolito still on the COVID-19 injured list after a positive test Friday. On top of that, the Sox and Royals are scheduled to play a split doubleheader on Tuesday.

Juggling the rotation has been a constant theme for the Sox since the start of the season.

Lance Lynn hasn’t pitched because of surgery on his right knee. Giolito missed two starts in April because of an abdominal strain suffered in the season opener in Detroit, where he pitched four scoreless innings and struck out six. Jimmy Lambert made a spot start April 14 and started the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland after consecutive days of rainouts.

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