Ronny Cedeno: Better Than We Think?

Just a quick observation about today's game: if the defense he has played so far is any indication, Ronny Cedeno's worthlessness may have been greatly exaggerated. His range is excellent, and his hands appear to be pretty good too. A couple of the plays he made tonight were amazing. (He also looks great, as all the Pirates' infielders do, compared to the Nats, whose infield defense everywhere except third looked stunningly bad.)

I think his offense may have some smidgen of promise as well. Yes, his numbers in his major league career have been dreadful, and it's entirely possible they may continue to be. He also didn't hit as a youngster in the low minors. For some reason, though, in AAA he hit very well indeed, posting lines of .355/.403/.518 in 2005 and .359/.422/.537 in 2007. Those lines were batting-average driven, and until he hits well for an extended period in the majors, my best guess will be that they were flukes. But if he can somehow bring his major-league average up to .270 or so, I'm not sure he'll be that much worse than Jack Wilson anyway, and Cedeno is five years younger. Please note the number of qualifiers in there, but it's not totally clear to me that Cedeno is just some random guy to stand at short for a few months until something better comes along, sort of like Jose Hernandez after the Aramis Ramirez deal in 2003. Cedeno might--might--be a bit better than that. 

Also, Andrew McCutchen homered again tonight. As I write this in the seventh, I feel pretty good about this game, even if I don't completely understand why Jeff Karstens was allowed to blow the game wide open. This one might have turned out differently if the Bucs had taken advantage of some of the scoring opportunities they had early on. 

One link:

Minor League Baseball: Lynchburg vs. Kinston
Rudy Owens struck out four batters, walked one, and allowed no runs in his first 4.3 innings at Class A+ Lynchburg tonight. Also, the newly-acquired Josh Harrison is 3-for-5 with a double as I type this.

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