Ronny Cedeno

These past few days I've been thinking. I've had the thought that maybe certain things are true and we need to accept them. For example:

  • Maybe Andre Dawson and Ron Santo really aren't hall of fame players. For the past few years they've done all sorts of changing of the way that the veterens committee elects members and all still come back with the same news for Ron. These are his peers that aren't seeing it. Perhaps we're simply blinded by the fact that we so badly want to see something go well for the guy. As for the hawk, maybe those days in Montreal on the turf cost him his spot.
  • Maybe trading Mark DeRosa, as unpopular as it was from a fan standpoint, was a good idea. You always hear the saying that it's better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. We've seen the latter in the last few years with guys like Marquis and we'll probably see it again with someone like Felix Pie. Perhaps Jim Hendry made the right call.
  • Maybe Kosuke Fukudome just needed a year to get used to the big leagues and he really won't suck in 2009. It would be a great help to us and would allow us to keep Milton Bradley as healthy as possible. Perhaps we just need to hold out hope.
  • Maybe Ronny Cedeno will finally learn to not be a retard with the mental errors. After all, we did agree to a contract with him today.
  • Maybe....just maybe...The Cubs will win a World Series in 2009.

Then again, maybe I'm retarded.

Today is the day when contracts are tendered to players on MLB Reserve Lists who are unsigned for 2009.

You just can't put too much stock into any of the games the Cubs play this week, even if they're against potential playoff opponents playing for everything as the Cubs play for nothing. But if you consider them the practice tests before the Cubs have to take the ACT's next week, I think a few members of the Cubs need to do a cram session this weekend.

- Ronny Cedeno continued to impress with his baseball instincts yesterday. He attempted a sac bunt and failed miserably and then was slow to get to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt to first by Jose Reyes. In isolation these events wouldn't mean much, but the pattern has been there for as long as he's been with the Cubbies. I can't wait until the game is on the line in the playoffs and it's up to Cedeno to come through. Sadly, the Cubs have little choice but to put him on the playoff roster. He's the only backup shortstop on the team (no Mark DeRosa does not count) and the Cubs can't risk Ryan Theriot getting hurt early in the series and not having a viable defensive option to play there. And even if you thought DeRosa counted, he's now nursing a left calf strain that you probably don't want him testing at an unfamiliar defensive position as demanding as shortstop.

- The bottom of the 8th inning sure was a weird one last night. I can excuse Samardzija for giving up hits to Carlos Delgada and Carlos Beltran, they're good hitters and well that's just gonna happen from time to time. All pitchers get themselves into trouble, it's their ability to get out of it that sets them apart from the pack.  And Samardzija executed wonderfully on Ryan Church for the strikeout and then got the clog-footed Ramon Castro to ground out. And this is where things got weird.

Lou decided to intentionally walk Endy Chavez for some reason. Now I understand wanting to face the right-handed hitter, but it's Endy Chavez. A career .270 hitter that's hitting .280 against righties this year. On top of that, Samardzija has actually done better versus lefties this year - .170 BA vs .268 BA for right-handed hitters in nearly the same amount of plate appearances. And the true crime of the intentional walk was that it completely cut-off Samardzija's escape route. He was now forced to throw strikes to Ramon Martinez, something that he's been struggling with over the last month.

I'd like to believe that Lou was just testing Samardzija to see if he can throw strikes and get an out when absolutely needed. In which case, Samardzija failed worse than I did on my high school trigonometry exams. But it's more likely that Lou thought he was playing the percentages when he really wasn't. Samardzija still should be able to get that out there, but it certainly wasn't putting your players in the best position to win.

- On the flip side, the Mets are terrible. The Cubs tried to give them a gift and even tore off half the wrapping paper and the Mets still couldn't guess what was inside. Three times the Mets got a runner on third with NOBODY out and could only score run out of it. And that one run was thanks to the previously mentioned poor managing/poor execution by the Cubs.

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during a week that began with a disappointing series against a team in the throes of a long losing streak, but ended with a sweep of the club with the best record in the National League, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):

#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Reds, 4th inning — After Geovany Soto whiffs with men at second and third, Ronny Cedeño connects for a two-out, two-run single to extend the Cubs lead to 3-0, which turns out to be more than cushion enough for Carlos Zambrano. Cedeño's hit was far and away the Cubs' biggest one during the three games in Cincinnati. WPA .172

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past. not terribly successful week against the teams we'll have to beat if we want to take the division, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):

#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Brewers, 7th inning — The opener of the Cubs' three-game series with the Brewers is getting out of hand when Mike Fontenot hits a two-out, bases-clearing double that brings the home team to within two runs at 9-7. WPA .133

Rotoworld had a blurb today that Kevin Frandsen is taking a break from playing shortsop. This is on the heels of Omar Vizquel being sidelined with a knee injury. Rotoworld speculates the Giants will probably be looking for a shortstop by the time spring training is ending and it made me think the Cubs might be able to help them out.


As previously mentioned, by a number of folks including our own Arizona Phil, center fielder Rajai Davis is out of options and could possibly fill that right-handed hitting, three-spot outfielder the Cubs have been searching for since the offseason began. A speedster, who is known for playing hard at all times, his major and minor league numbers suggest that, at the very least, he's not immune to taking a walk. The Cubs, of course, have a shortstop named Ronny Cedeno who happens to be also out of options.

So Jim Hendry, if you're out there, go ahead and contact me and I'll let you know where to send the consulting fee once this goes through.

Earlier today, Rob alluded to this story in the Baltimore Sun, which says the O's will be sending a scout to Mesa next week "to get a closer look" at players the Cubs and Orioles have discussed as part of a potential Brian Roberts swap.

The same story indicates that Luis Hernandez currently has the edge over Brandon Fahey and--I'm going to try to type this without laughing--Freddie Bynum in the competition to succeed Miguel Tejada as Baltimore's starting shortstop.

Hernandez was snagged off waivers by the O's after the Braves released him following the '06 season. Though he is good with the glove, over six minor league seasons, his career OPS is 621. Baseball Prospectus says:

He's as light-hitting an infielder as you'll find, with three years of Double-A ball under his belt and no apparent improvement. Tejada's injury last year gave him a chance to play in the majors last year, and he hit .290, but it was almost all singles and was accompanied by a single solitary walk.

That's one walk in 71 plate appearances.

That's Neifi Perez...without the power.

And that's a reason you might be thinking about trading for Ronny Cedeno.

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AZ PHIL:

Orioles GM Andy MacPhail, Scouting Director John Stockstill, and Manager Dave Trembley all came to BAL from the Cubs. Also, ex-Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Alan Dunn is the O's bullpen coach. So they probably have opinions and personal knowledge about Cubs players and prospects that go well beyond what other organizations might have. For instance, Ronny Cedeno was signed under Stockstill's tenure, and Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall were drafted by Stockstill, as was Donald Veal.

BTW, the reason the Orioles scout will be coming to Mesa next week instead of right now is that minor league camp hasn't opened yet, so if the Orioles want to get an updated look at Veal, they will have to wait until next week. 

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