Cedeno Makes Team…I Jump Off a Cliff

It appears that Ronny Cedeno has won the final bench spot on the team. Piniella likes the improvements he's made with the glove and bat and has told Hendry unless a substantial move can be made, he's ready to go to war with the soldiers currently in camp. (Cedeno apparently did make one of the more spectacular plays you'll ever see today, although I have yet to see it). While it would be foolish to write-off a 24-year old kid who hit reasonably well for his age and position in the minors, he's got plenty of warts on his game. He strikes out far too much for a guy with little power and has never shown much of an ability to draw a walk. And of course, the tool that got him promoted through the minors - his defense - got left somewhere in Venezuela, two winters ago. But he seems to be a different player so far in camp, his spring training stats are promising, although ultimately meaningless. He's hit to a tune of 310/408/429 and more importantly seven walks to only ten strikeouts in about fifty-two plate appearances. Sure, a whole lot of who cares, but better that he's hitting well; rather than not....to state the obvious. And if he's used as a proper 25th man/defensive replacement, this will be a whole lot of nothing.
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This is just what I've been saying all spring. The last utility spot will be between Cedeno and Pagan. I don't think Pagan has gotten much of a look during spring. Thomas Perez was never much of a legitimate option. Les Walrond will probably get traded somewhere. Novoa has had such a poor spring that he might just land in the minor leagues for some seasoning. I doubt if the Cubs will get any decent offers for him at this point.

So Sayeth the God of WAR!

Truthfully, today was the first time I'd seen him since the season finale last year.

I thought his swing looked better. He's clearly bought into what I'm now calling the "Piniella Patience Principle". Guess Rob's right about it not being a big deal.

I still like him better than Tomas Perez. We might open camp without a Perez on the team. That would be reason enough to rejoice. Forget how many games the team wins.

Paul Sullivan sat with Jim Hendry behind home plate for the last two or three innings of today's game, so if Sully says Cedeno has the 25th spot nailed down, he probably heard it from the GM's own mouth.

Clearly, Lou decided that he needed a UT infielder more than another outfielder, given the already-there platoon in OF.

That said, I'd rather watch Pagan than Cedeno any day, though another name is a lot more promising than either.

Rob,

All the negatives you point about Cedeno can easily be said about Pagan. Cedeno making this team is a good sign that RF is going to be a JJ/Derosa or Theroit platoon which makes the team better. Anyways qualibling over 100-200 ab's is kind of point less.

Completely unrelated, but yet another mlbtraderumors.com "WTF are you talking about?!?!" moment:

So the guy knows the guy who writes Halos Heaven (but he's trustworthy! trust mlbtraderumors.com guy! he knows him!). This dude says that the LAAoA already have ironed out the basics of a deal to get A-Rod NEXT OFF-SEASON.

"He says Bill Stoneman and Brian Cashman have a tentative plan in place where the Angels could trade Dustin Moseley, Jose Molina, and Jered Weaver for Alex Rodriguez."

http://tinyurl.com/yrm4mo

Well I'm not really sure I ever advocated giving Pagan the spot either, but I'll admit I like him a little better.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/Ange...

But his minor league numbers are a tad better and he's less allergic to walks than Cedeno and he didn't show a lot of it last year, but he seemed to have a little pop in the bat.

But I see why they'd want an infielder over an outfielder and Pagan has been slowed with an injury for the most part.

Personally, they should go after Rob Macowiak if he's available, which sounds like he is. He doesn't play SS, but he plays everything else, so you can move Theriot or Derosa to SS and have Macowiak play somewhere else.

| think a year with a real coaching staff may do Cedeno a lot of good.

What is he going to do in AAA anyway, hit .370 and play defense? He's already done that. He also hit around .300 for his first couple of months in the bigs. What he needs is to make adjustments at the plate (some of which he is already doing going by how he has looked in ST) and play more consistently in the field under the bright lights, neither of which can be done in Iowa.

Plus when Izturis goes on the DL, we'll have a better idea of whether he can be the replacement or if a trade is needed if he has a good sized chunk playing at the MLB level to look at.

Ronny walked at the same rate as Pagan did at AAA and struck out less at a younger age. Pagan did have the misfortune of playing at Norfolk though, which theoretically is so tough on hitters that their AAA numbers are quite comparable to ML numbers. Pagan's numbers bared that out last year.

Cedeno did make a terrific play Wednesday. And it looks like he's made a concerted effort to cut down his swing and hit the ball to right field, even though he laid back on a breaking ball that missed its spot today and pulled it into left for a hit.

But I still think it would be best for the Cubs if he was playing SS everyday at Iowa. If he was needed to play SS, he could come up having gotten 4 at-bats every day rather than maybe 4 a week.

Also, if he had a strong season at Iowa, he could either become a tradeable asset or take the job back in 2008 if Izturis isn't re-signed.

I agree with Rob G. about Mackowiak or somebody like him who could play multiple infield and outfield positions and be a threat off the bench. He'd even be an emergency catcher.
Are there any other names that may come available during the last week of Spring Training?

I'm on the fence about Cedeno. He played so poorly last year, I hate to see him on the big club this year. On the other hand, he played really well in winter ball (for what that's worth) and he's had a good spring. If he is ever going to be a full-time big leaguer, it seems to me that Cedeno would be better off playing every day at AAA. If Izturis gets hurt, Cedeno can always be called up.

Mackowiak is an interesting idea. Because he plays so many positions, he would be a better alternative than Cedeno. I don't know what it would take to get him, but at the moment Mackowiak is not an option.

OK Five bucks to PayPal as soon as SOMEBODY digs up a TCR link to video of "The Play That Got Him The Job" by Cedeno. I would take a cellphone camera shot by Phil.

Lord knows through the history of rooting for Cubs, we have to cherish the 'little moments' whenever we get them.

espn.com has the Cubs highlights -- the Cedeno play was pure reaction (and a bit of a lucky stab) - shows he's got good hand-eye coordination, if nothing else.

Didn't Cedeno have a good ST in 2006?

Trouble in Cards Camp:

Tony LaRussa was arrested last night for Drunk Driving.

Here's the wire story:

(Jupiter, FL) -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa is in trouble with the law in Florida.
LaRussa was arrested at about eleven o'clock Central time last night on charges of suspicion of driving under the influence.
Officers found LaRussa at an intersection slumped over in the driver's seat of an SUV with the engine running.
He didn't respond to several knocks on the window.
Officers noticed a smell of an unknown alcoholic beverage coming from LaRussa.
He was taken into custody and provided two breath samples at the Palm Beach County Jail.
Police say LaRussa had a blood alcohol content of point-zero-nine-three.
The Major League Baseball manager was booked into the jail.
Police say LaRussa was cooperative throughout the investigation.

Let's see, Cedeno or Pagan or Tomas Perez for the last spot. Shit or Shit or Shit (give Crunch credit for this line of thinking). But I can't believe Cedeno made the squad. He is going to sit on the bench most of the time and not get the chance to improve his game, which he clearly needs. This move makes no sense. He should go down to Iowa with Pie and not come back till there is a starting position for them (assuming they play well enough to deserve one). After doing a good job of getting rid of Neifi to help sure up the bench, this looks to be a step backwards.

Yeah I heard about that on Mike & Mike this morning. Very interesting...

I wonder if STL is going to make him take a leave of absence. Luckily he didn't hurt anyone else.

I guess Larussa is not handling the upcoming season to well.

Ronny Cedeno is 25th man on the roster. Whoopie. If Cub fans worried about winning as much as they worry about the Jose Macias', Neifi Perez's and Freddy Bynum's of the world then they would be better off. And chances of Cedeno sticking on the roster all year long are remote. He's the guy you send back and forth to Triple A.

The presence of Cedeno will enable Ryan Theriot to play even more. Insurance on the bench means Theriot will get to enter games midstream beyond those days when he starts.

Cedeno also made a beautiful slide under the tag at home yesterday on Ward's first ribbie. He's very athletic and graceful, nice to watch (except when he's hitting).

Cedeno and Izturis are fairly redundant at this point, exept that Izturis adds a lefty bat to a heavily right-handed lineup. And the Cubs still need a righty hitter who can come off the bench in the eighth inning. That's not Ronny or Mackowiac. I have thought all winter that Cedeno was trade bait, and the fact that he's had a good spring doesn't change that. Not sure why he's still here; must be a buyer's market for shortstops.

I hope Hendry goes into action soon. We need some trades to loosen up the roster a little. As things stand now, not a single rookie will make the team. Ugh. How does a last-place team get so stodgy?

I have no problem with the Cedeno move, because I see no point of sending him back to Iowa.

He's never going to be a superstar, and he's probably never going to be a starter, no matter how long he stays in Iowa. He's a classic backup utility infielder, with decent defense and a marginal bat.

In fact he's just like Neifi, who was never a bad person to have on the bench, except that Cedeno isn't making 3 million dollars.

"How does a last-place team get so stodgy? "

When they spend $ 300 million over the off season.

I'm glad Theriot will be there, and wouldn't be suprised he takes playing time away from DeRosa.

Ronny Cedeno is 25th man on the roster. Whoopie. If Cub fans worried about winning as much as they worry about the Jose Macias’, Neifi Perez’s and Freddy Bynum’s of the world then they would be better off.

Who would be better off? The Cubs or us fans? Cause I doubt who what we worry about has much effect on the Cubs. And if's the fans, well I'm doing just fine...thanks a bunch. I wish my baseball team would you know win a World Series sometime soon, but I still wake up happy every morning either way.

I still wake up happy every morning either way.

Not according to the title at the top of this article, Rob G.

the biggest impact of all this seems to be the 08 situation at SS...can cedeno get his D down and keep his mediocre bat at least at a minimal mlb-level? if not we could be seeing izturis at SS again in 08 at a cost higher than cedeno.

ultimately...no big deal, probably...the impact of cedeno playing everyday in AAA vs. cedeno being around izturis+coaches in the bigs i dunno.

they want perez in AAA rather than adding him to the 40-man and getting rid of someone...*shrug*

ultimately its just the 25th man this year...

It was obvious from yesterdays game that he was getting a really serious look because they were asking him to do all sort of "play the game right type of plays" They had him sacrifice early on in the game which he did well. They had him hit and run which he missed but it was a ball way outside and he made as good an attempt at it as you could without actually leaving your feet.

He also had the amazing defensive play where he went down to field a routine grounder and it took a very bizarre hop and he ended up reflexively bare handing it above his head. That with a great slide at home that was the difference between getting caught and scoring.

Ronnie has looked great this spring. I think a major factor in the cubs not developing position players is if they are not rookie of the year caliber right out of the gate then they tend to replace them with washed up veterans. Not every player is an all star their rookie season. Look how long the sox have been developing Crede. The cubs would have NEVER stuck with a young guy that long and now he is a hair below an all star.

Not according to the title at the top of this article, Rob G.

touche.....but damn, I hope you guys don't take what I write THAT seriously...I try to have as much fun as I can in the writing.

I think that Cedeno making the roster as the 25th man says alot about how the Cubs view him. If they still thought of him as the Ss of the future. Who thinks he would be in Chicago playing twice a week? Not I. If the Cubs still viewed Cedeno as the future. One would assume he would play everyday in Iowa. I personally think he can be a good backup IF guy at the ML level. His career numbers are in reange with those of Neifi and Izturis. Both of those guys are considered good ML backup IF guys as well. Bring on the Arod in 08 rumors!

"Cedeno and Izturis are fairly redundant at this point, exept that Izturis adds a lefty bat to a heavily right-handed lineup."

Virginia, did you actually write this? Who cares which batters box C.I. stands in. Izturis might as well stand on his head behind the ump with the bat in his teeth. The result will be the same. An out.

izturis vs. cedeno isnt a battle for the DH slot...at one time their defense could be called similar, but cedeno is in a near year and 1/2 stumble (since winter ball last season) where he's had throwing issues mixed with really screwy mental errors.

neither of them are vizquel, imo...better "low end" bat with a near perfect glove/arm over the years consistently more often than not.

Izturis can't stay healthy. His defense is just reputation at this point. Having chronic hamstring injuries is not something that generally helps a Ss's range.

Virginia, did you actually write [that Izturis adds a lefty bat to a heavily right-handed lineup]? Who cares which batters box C.I. stands in.

If it doesn't make any difference, why was Izturis, along with ten thousand other singles-hitting middle infielders, taught to bat lefty?

I was really encouraged in 2005 to see a kid that could have some range, and speed at a position that had been a problem for the team. OF course, I'll NEVER forgive "A-Gon" or "A-Gone" - Needless to say, Cedeno stunk it up last year - but he has a knack for making a spectacular play every now and again, that shows why he was at one time highly touted.

I agree that having TWO light hitting, automatic outs,is not the greatest. I'd like to see Theriot more, and Cedeno would not see that much playing time - but I'd rather have he than Neifi, as the 25th man due to the slight hope that he may become servicable, as he is still quite young.

can we all please remember that you are looking at a kid who was being taught by the likes of last years coaching staff. Practically everyone was stinking it up with strikeouts and bad defense.

I for one thought Cedeno did just fine last year, all things considered. Maybe he isn't a superstar that could save a dreadful team, but he did ok.

From the ST reports, it sounds like everyone is learning a little patience.

We've got a heavy thunderstorm with torrential rain coming through Mesa/Phoenix right now, with more rain on the way, so the Cubs might not play today.

This is the first time it's rained here in about two months.

desert - "A barren or desolate area, especially a dry, often sandy region of little rainfall, extreme temperature, and sparse vegetation..."

Yep, that's what it is all right.

On Cedeno,

First, he's not an automatic out. In fact, his hitting is pretty good, definitely better than Izturis.

Second, I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned his worst problem which has always been throwing the ball to the first basemen. On Defense, Cedeno is above average with range and gloving the ball (not as good as Izturis but few are). It's when Cedeno has the ball and needs to throw to first to get the runner that problems occur. Some say that he didn't have Lee to throw to last season who is better known for getting errant throws. For me, I'd just rather Cedeno learn how to throw the damn ball straight. That's my main beef with Cedeno.

Also, if Pinella chooses Cedeno over Pagan, then it tells me that he's been impressed with Soriano playing CF so far this spring. If Soriano were faltering, Pagan is the only legitimate (mlb ready) CF on the roster. Sure, Jones could move over there for a game or two, but he wouldn't be a good option for all season. In short, if Pagan isn't on the ballclub, then Pinella must feel reasonably decent about Soriano in CF.

So Sayeth the God of WAR!

Al has an interesting interview up on BCB with Will Carroll. In the interview, Carroll seems to think that Izturis is actually the Cub's worst option at SS.

Carroll suggests Theriot as the everyday SS, which would be fine with me.

I would LOVE to hear what people think about Theriot's defense. Management seems to be reluctant to play him at SS, even though that's what he's played most in the minors and in college. Can Theriot play a ML-caliber SS?

Has anyone else noticed Izturis sporting a 7BB/1K line with 28 ABs this spring. I did not want to expect offensive production from Izturis going to the season, but his spring plate appearances have me intrigued.

Romero — March 22, 2007 @ 10:15 am
Al has an interesting interview up on BCB with Will Carroll. In the interview, Carroll seems to think that Izturis is actually the Cub’s worst option at SS.

Carroll suggests Theriot as the everyday SS, which would be fine with me.

I would LOVE to hear what people think about Theriot’s defense. Management seems to be reluctant to play him at SS, even though that’s what he’s played most in the minors and in college. Can Theriot play a ML-caliber SS?

=============================

ROMERO: I have seen The Riot play SS, and he CAN play the position, but I wouldn't start him at SS over Izturis. He plays a kind of bump+grind defense. That is, a sort of hustling-type defensive play that does not translate real well to SS but is fine at 2B or 3B. Theriot's best position is definitely 2B. On the depth chart, I'd play Izturis, Cedeno, and Theriot at SS, in that order.

Actually, Theriot should be the starting 2B and #2 hitter, and DeRosa should be the supersub utility guy. But Hendry apparently promised DeRosa that he'd play 2B with the Cubs, which is apparently why DeRosa chose the Cubs over other MLB clubs. So I don't know how Piniella would handle that.

The thing is, even as a supersub "10th man," DeRosa could still play almost everyday, just not 2B everyday. He could play RF against LHP, give A-Ram an occasional day off at 3B, D-Lee a blow at 1B, and maybe some LF, too.

Remember, when Uncle Lou took over the Cubs, he mentioned that he believed the key to winning with all the day games the Cubs play is to keep everybody fresh. and having a "10th man" supersub who can play everywhere is the way to do that. In other words, a "Regular Without a Position."

If the Cubs could get Rob Mackowiak (a left-handed hitting version of DeRosa) to replace Cliff Floyd on the 25-man roster, the Cubs would be in REALLY good shape, with both a right-handed AND a left-handed "10th man."

Floyd would be best served being a DH in the A. L., because while he has all sorts of problems in the outfield because he has difficulty starting and stopping, he CAN still hit. Why Floyd signed with the Cubs, and why Hendry wanted Floyd in the first place, is still a mystery to me. He should have signed with an A. L. team, where he can DH.

Most of you are going to eat your words on Cesar Izturis. If healthy, he can be a surprisingly decent hitter. His spring training performance attests to that. And don't forget his magnificent glove.

You know team, you might be right about 2008. Cedeno won't get much development here by sitting on the bench.

But I say this. Lou says he wants to win right now. He wants to put the best lineup on the field everyday. If he's going to do that, he's going to have to use Cedeno instead of Tomas Perez to do it.

Ok...ST...where's the punchline?

If healthy.....I'll wait and see before getting all excited about Cesar "Gold Glover" Izturis*

*won it one time in 2004. BFD.

AZ PHIL,

Everything you just said is right on.

Cesar Izturis. If healthy, he can be a surprisingly decent hitter.

right. and If healthy, Mark Prior is a great pitcher too.

Wait a minute! Prior is healthy.

Silent Towel is right on one thing, the good things Izturis brings to the table we haven't really seen yet. For all his negatives, you ask Dodger fans about him, and they're STILL pissed he's gone. Yes, Furcal is a much better player, but Izturis is a machine with the glove. Fans in LA really grew to appreciate that--as did Dodger pitchers.

My personal preference would be an Izturis/Theriot platoon, Derosa as supersub, and get a new 2B, but that won't happen.

Cedeno, I'm OK with him as the 25th man, it has to be better than Neifi.

"Al has an interesting interview up on BCB with Will Carroll. In the interview, Carroll seems to think that Izturis is actually the Cub’s worst option at SS."

Will Carroll showing, yet again, how little he knows about baseball.

You see, the Will Carroll's of the world seem to think that Izturis is not a good everyday player, yet the actually managers and GMs of the world do. Hmmmm...

Makes me think about that old adage:

Those who can manage baseball do,
Those who can't write about it.

What Dodgers sites have you been poking around Eric? Living in L.A. and frequenting Dodger Thoughts every once in awhile, I haven't seen anything but reserved happiness.

But at this point, the flack that Izturis has gotten makes me want to root for him that much more. As I said, let's see what he can when he's healthy. 26 year olds usually haven't flamed out you know.....

Rob G.:
"26 year olds usually haven’t flamed out you know….."

How old is Korey??

With Wood and Prior both set the seasononthe DL, why do we need a 12-man staff to start the season? Miller is the only potential (known) health concern in the rotation, and if he only goes 3 2/3 innings in a statrt, Cotts has been stretched out enough to give us some long relief.

I'd rather go with 11 pitchers, and keep both Pagan and Cedeno. Pagan would help our porous OF defense in the late innings, and also give us a decent switch-hitting bat off the bench as well.

With Wood and Prior both set the seasononthe DL, why do we need a 12-man staff to start the season? Miller is the only potential (known) health concern in the rotation, and if he only goes 3 2/3 innings in a start, Cotts has been stretched out enough to give us some long relief.

I'd rather go with 11 pitchers, and keep both Pagan and Cedeno. Pagan would help our porous OF defense in the late innings, and also give us a decent switch-hitting bat off the bench as well.

Manny:
RE:#48-

BWWWAAAAAHAAAHAAAAAAAA-HAAAAAAAAAA!!!

That's good stuff....

Someone should write a book about the inherent genius that GM's in MLB posess.

albeit funny....Korey has hardly flamed out. He's not very good imo, but he definitely did some good things.

The point being, not too many guys have their career years when they're 23 or 24...better times are ahead for Cesar.

"aaronb — March 22, 2007 @ 11:45 am

Someone should write a book about the inherent genius that GM’s in MLB posess."

They aren't geniuses. They just generally know a lot about baseball. You see, it's their profession. I don't know what you do for a living, aaronb, but I would guess that Jim Hendry would probably not be very good at it if he tried to do it tomorrow. I am going to assume that you are good at your job and mostly because of your experience in you field. I know Jim Hendry couldn't do my job. Maybe after being in my industry for 5 - 10 years, sure, but not until then. So, that's what I base my thoughts on.

Don't be so hard on LaRussa...he's clearly going through a late mid-life crisis. He recently also got a large tattoo from his bicep down to the forearm. So add in the DUI and now he's all set up to trade in that SUV and upgrade to a bright yellow Corvette vert and then he can hit the nightlife(or lack thereof in STL) with his shirt unbuttoned to mid-chest, multiple gold chains hanging out and painted on tight black faded jeans with Dr. Feelgood resonating from the stereo. I guess he won't have to worry about hiring a lawyer....and wonder if the local chapter of PETA bailed him out?

finally saw the Cedeno play at ESPN.com, nice reaction play, but wasn't that big a deal. It wasn't like he was going full speed in one direction or anything like Ozzie's play.

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