In a surprise move to me, the St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have unconditionally released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. The move leaves Pete Kozma uncontested as the primary shortstop entering the season and opens up a spot on the bench which is expected to be filled by slugging first baseman Matt Adams.
Cedeno, 30, was signed by the Cardinals less than two months ago to a 1 year, $1.15 million contract. He was brought onboard as insurance in the event that Rafael Furcal would be unable to be the team’s regular shortstop and that Pete Kozma’s September was just a lightning strike. Furcal headed for the surgeon’s table, but Kozma was struck twice as he is hitting .318 so far this spring.
On the other hand, Cedeno struggled early but has come on as of late, hitting .290 with a double and a home run. Defensively he has committed 2 errors in his 45 innings at shortstop. The same number as Kozma has in twice as many innings at the position. Continue reading
Over the weekend there have been a couple reports out of Venezuela saying that shortstop Ronny Cedeno has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. When given an opportunity to comment on it this weekend, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that the team wasn’t going to make any baseball related announcements this weekend out of respect for Stan Musial and his family. In other words, a subliminal “yes.”
But is Ronny Cedeno an upgrade over what we already have in house? Bernie Miklasz doesn’t think so and offers up ZiPS projections for Cedeno, Pete Kozma, and Ryan Jackson. So what do we have in house?
In 104 major league plate appearances, Pete Kozma has a batting slash line of .303/.373/.506. However, those numbers are a far cry from his career minor league numbers which has a slash line of .236/.308/.344. Safe to say that Kozma’s numbers will drop greatly at the plate this coming season.
Ryan Jackson, viewed by most as the organization’s best internal candidate, has a career minor league line of .267/.335/.370. That’s better than Kozma but not a huge improvement over him. Whether it was bad timing or something that turned Mike Matheny off of him last September, he only got 17 at bats and was able to muster just two hits as he didn’t even amass a full inning of playing time at his primary position, not even fielding a ball there in the majors. Continue reading