Is It Time To End The Ronny Cedeno Era?
When Jose Lopez returns from the bereavement list next week, the M’s will have to ship a middle infielder back to Tacoma. Chris Woodward is the obvious candidate, since he just came up from Triple-A. But, as I watched Ronny Cedeno take a few more ridiculous swings today, I have to wonder if he’s the guy who should head back to the minors. He just looks broken.
He walks as much as Lopez, strikes out as much as Branyan, and hits for power like Yuni. Maybe you could explain his .132 batting average as bad luck, but then you look at his batted ball profile and see a line drive percentage of 4.3%. Cedeno isn’t making contact very often, and even when he does, it’s a ground ball or a fly ball, giving him a high percentage of making an out and a very low percentage of doing anything useful.
He’s a solid defender, he’s only 26, and he has some history of being able to hit in the minors, but man, right now, he just looks lost at the plate. He’s out of options, so the team can’t send him back to Tacoma without passing him through waivers, but I doubt there’s going to be a stampede to claim a guy with a .190 wOBA. Playing once or twice a week isn’t working for him, and if he’s ever going to be a productive player for the M’s, he’s probably going to have to undergo some changes to his swing. That’s a lot easier to fix when you’re actually playing, and he simply hasn’t hit well enough to let Wak put him in the line-up with any regularity.
Chris Woodward certainly isn’t the answer to anything (nor is anyone else in the organization – please, Jack, get us a middle infielder or two!), but he can play SS/2B without being a total disaster and hit .200 at least. Sadly, that would be an upgrade over what we’re getting from Cedeno at the moment.
I’m not ready to give up on Ronny Cedeno entirely, but this isn’t working. When Lopez comes back, I’d like to see the team outright him to Tacoma – if someone else wants to claim him, so be it, but at least they’d have a shot at getting him to Triple-A where he can try to fix his problems.