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Cleto learning as he competes

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Maikel Cleto is out of options, and the White Sox risk losing the hard-throwing right-hander if he doesn't break camp with the team. But Cleto seems to be earning his way into one of those final bullpen slots.

He struck out two over two scoreless innings Saturday night against the Dodgers and has been working hard in side sessions with pitching coach Don Cooper.

"I have been working with him on location and working also with the breaking pitch a little bit," said Cleto through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "It has been good.

"How to use my fastball. And with the changeup, more so the location and the selection of the pitch with the changeup."

Cleto was claimed off waivers from the Royals on February 26 and already feels a fit with the White Sox.

"The staff has given me the confidence," Cleto said. "I feel really good here."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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