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Over at 1060west...

There's a great post over at the 1060west blog.  It's titled, "Why It Can't Be Ronny Cedeno," and pretty much extinguishes the undeserved status Cubs fans have heaped on Cedeno's shoulders.  I'll leave you with a quote:

"I am compelled to suggest that starting Ronny Cedeno at shortstop is effectively starting Neifi Perez at shortstop for the 2006 season." 

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That's why you don't sign expensive contracts with subpar veterans like Neifi Perez. Good fielding/ light hitters like Cedeno are freely available and a smart team can use their payroll dollars elsewhere. Plus, a young guy like Cedeno may develop more down the line--Neifi's on the decline (but certainly not from a lofty height to begin with).

The minor leagues have an abundance of slick fielders who can tap into double plays as well as Neifi. Young slick fielders like Cedeno may take it up a notch later. Of course Cedeno's gaudy average last year, plus his youth and low cost also make Cedeno a good candidate to package in a trade as well (for Tejada, he hopelessly crosses his fingers!).

Low cost? Save money? Sounds good to us.

That's right Trib Execs--you could have afforded guys like Brian Giles if you save money on easily replacable players.

you know what. neifi stinks. ronny cedeno is ten times the man neifi will ever be. (in the pants)derrek lee got ripped out of the mvp because albert pujols sucked bud's chode

you know what. neifi stinks. ronny cedeno is ten times the man neifi will ever be. (in the pants)derrek lee got ripped out of the mvp because albert pujols sucked bud's chode

Since I can't seem to post this over at 1060 West, let me try here.

The blog author writes that "a player is more than his last 245 at-bats. such a small sample size is particularly vulnerable to abnormalities -- a hot streak. after all, neifi perez can hit .350 for a month. there's no telling whether or not cedeno's 2005 output is just an abnormality."

All true. So let's look at more than 245 at-bats. Ronny Cedeno has now had 445 at-bats this year (nearly 500 PAs) between Iowa, Chicago, and the Venezuelan Winter League, which per Baseball Prospectus is roughly comparable in talent level to AA. His unadjusted line across all those ABs is .348/.394/.483. Adjustments are always guesswork, but using his Chicago performance as a baseline and adjusting his Iowa and Venezuelan performance yields an adjusted line of .305/.350/.425 in nearly a full "major league" season.

Neifi's career line? .270/.301/.380, and that's with four-and-half seasons at Coors Field thrown in. His 2005? .274/.298/.383, remarkably in line with his career numbers. He's 33, so you shouldn't expect any significant improvement in 2006; if anything, you might see a little slippage.

What am I saying here? Well, if you want to believe that a 33-year-old with an established level of (under)performance of .274/.298/.383 will provide the same offense as a 23-year-old whose improvement over each of the last three years culminated in a .305/.350/.425 season, then be my guest. But the numbers don't support that conclusion.

My projection for Cedeno is roughly in line with his adjusted 2005 performance. Throw in what apparently is very good defense and he'll be the player that everyone thinks "All-Star" Cesar Izturis is. He won't be the cure for all of the Cubs many offensive woes -- and I still wish the team had snagged Furcal -- but Cedeno will be an asset, not a liability, to the Cubs next year.

Nice post newbie. I agree with you. I like how you pointed out all of his AB's including this winter.

In the post at 1060 said that he had a hard time believing that Cedeno just hit a revolution. Why? The guy just turned 23, it makes sense that he's starting to figure it out. It took him awhile, and he's struggled a good amount, but I believe in this guy. He may never be an all-star, but if he can produce close to what he has throughout this year, and play good D, he'll be fine. I just hope he can learn to draw some more walks.

Cedeno has the potential to work out well. I think that, ideally, the Cubs would like to get a stellar defensive IF out of him, with a near-.300 average at the plate. He doesn't walk enough yet for a #2 in the order, but if he can amass a 150-hit full season, he'd look great anywhere from #6-8 in the order, especially as a lefty.

Murton concerns me more (and apparently, worries the Cubs as well); it seems as if he may be playing over his head a bit. Not possessing great speed or defensive prowess, we need his bat to be a serious asset to justify a long-term starter's job in the OF. He has never been a great prospect, though he showed a good flash in limited time last year. I would prefer to start just one of the rookies, though I won't be too upset at starting both if Hendry does add quality #2 and #5 batters to the lineup.

I do like the two of them as prospects, but I don't think the Cubs should approach the 2006 season gambling on two rookies to save the day. They have the means and wherewithall to put a contender on the field in 2006 if they desire. I would hate to see Hendry overvalue propects who've never played a game in the majors in the same way that Tampa's GM is overvaluing players who'll be Free Agents after the 2006 season.

Perhaps it's time to start making a splash now. Everyone else (Mets, Orioles, White Sox, Oakland, Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers) have already made a splash or two or are on the verge of making a few more.

Unless Juan Pierre can play two OF slots and pitch every fifth day, there is still some serious work to be done. It might cost a prospect or two (Huff, Lugo), or just a decent chunk of cash (Damon). Nonetheless, what is on the field now at Wrigley will not contend for the playoffs anytime soon.

hey -- i'm gaius from 1060west.

i rather agree with you, newbie. for all my skepticism of cedeno (and it's considerable still), neifi is a known miserable quantity. the goal must be to keep him off the field.

the problem is that known quantities are a virtue in baseball, even when they shouldn't be -- which is why neifi chalked up 572 abs last year.

my point isn't that cedeno's just as bad as neifi -- he might not be. my point is that, if cedeno falters at the plate, neifi will step in and cedeno will be backburnered faster than you can say jose macias. his glove is better, the cubs have committed to him for two years and dusty loves him as a person.

regardless of what you think about cedeno's talents, the chances of him stepping into the starting lineup and hitting .300 from the get-go are nearly nil. iowa and especially the venezuelan league are far, far, FAR from the majors. and when he falters, neifi is in and cedeno probably goes back to iowa.

therefore, the cubs, if they are truly not to play neifi as the starter in 2006, MUST patch short with someone better than cedeno. anyone from miguel tejada to julio lugo.

hey jack -- i "had a hard time believing that Cedeno just hit a revolution" because such revolutions are very, very rare.

can you find a player in the majors today that strung together a .238 batting average over his first 1500 professional at-bats? i didn't -- not even a bad one.

if they're rare enough that we can't find one, why should anyone believe that cedeno's the exception to the rule -- that he's that one in a thousand that goes from awful to brilliant in one fell swoop? and, if the odds are that long, why would you hinge the cubs season on it -- instead of returning him to iowa to prove himself out?

While I agree that the first few years of Cedeno's minor league career have been pretty poor offensively, I think that the hope is not completely unfounded.

Cedeno is in his low 20s. He's currently 6'0", 170lbs. Physically, that makes him pretty slight for a baseball player. However, it is possible that he is just now "filling in" to his frame.

Gaining strength over the last few years in the minors may have resulted in a gradual increase in bat speed as well as a gradual increase in the upper-body strength necessary to punch the ball into the field.

I'm not suggesting this is the answer to why Cedeno's OPS went from the .500-.600 range for a few years, to .729 in 2004, to over .900 in a half a AAA season. I'm hopeful that my hypothesis is right.

In case anyone wants to look at Ronny's full stats...

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/ronny-cedeno.shtml

Gaius, as for your question, "why not let him prove it out in AAA again," I say this:

Cedeno is cheap. It is possible that he fails. However, if he is solid, he's a $300,000 positive addition to the bottom of the order.

The alternatives aren't that appealing. Lugo had a nice 2005, but I'm sure you've noticed that his career numbers look more like Jerry Hairston than Rafael Furcal. Trading for him would cost us prospects, and doesn't seem like a huge upgrade. Alex Gonzalez is the biggest free agent name, and he simply can't hit.

Finally, I don't see the problem with gambling on a guy who is probably going to bat 8th anyway. Perez was a huge negative because he batted 1st and 2nd much of last year. Perez batting 8th is still not good, but it's not deadly either.

i still think the cubs really ned a rf, im fine with cedeno and perez but i dont like walker this is a todd walker game, 1/3 with 2 pop ups to shallow left field with runners in scoring position then a 2 out noone on single in the ninth cubs down b 3 runs, he looks good on paper, a 300 hitting left handed 2nd baseman decent in the field, but in reality he isnt very good, the cubs should dish him and patterson and make a run at huff or do something but i dont want to see walker playing nd again this yer for the cubs

Why doesn't Hendry just trade for Jose Reyes? I mean, the kid can steal 60 bases and is a cheap solution at SS.

Plus, the Mets could use a starter or a relief arm. Give them Dempster and you have a cheap SS.

Would be a classic Cub leadoff hitter - ridiculously bad at getting on base.

at this point i doubt the mets will trade reyes why would they, reyesd and wright will be great for a while, but as a cubs fan i would love getting reyes, and moving cedeno to end, maybe we could trade them hill, walker, jerome williams, and a prospect , but i highly highly doubt the mets would trade reyes for anything less then a trade involiving pie and hill or jerome williams

Scored 99 runs with a .300 OBP.

Show me another player who could score that much with THAT OBP, and i'll never post here again.

I'm working on it, although I don't want you to stop posting here.

Alfonso Soriano, 2005: 102 runs, .309 OBP

Darin Erstad, 2002: 99 runs, .313 OBP

Andruw Jones, 2001: 104 runs, .312 OBP

Not quite, but I'm getting there. What are we trying to prove here - that guys who get 620-700 ABs and hit near the top of the order can't help but score a lot? Makes Reyes look that much worse that he wastes such speed by hacking.

HAHAHA!

Look at the teams those players are on!

Texas, Anaheim, and Atlanta!

I had to check some facts to see the Mets had MIGUEL CAIRO and a struggling Beltran hitting behind him.

Yeah, anything you can do, I can do better.

It's probably not realistic, so i'm moving on...

Any of ya'll think Adam Kennedy would be a good fit at second?

What are we trying to prove here - that guys who get 620-700 ABs and hit near the top of the order can't help but score a lot? Makes Reyes look that much worse that he wastes such speed by hacking.

One last point... if you take the percentage of times he reached base, you will find he scores over 43% of the times he reaches base.

Only ELITE major league players score with that regularity.

actually i think adam kennedy would be a better fit at second then toodd walker who i will repetitivley claim as an overated terrible player, if you look at his situational stats, i can;tgive you a specific statistic, but his average with runners in scoring position must be awful

Dude...if you are trying to prove Reyes is anything close to elite, or even top 10 at his position, you've got an uphill battle. It's nice that he's fast, but he's really not very valuable at all.

and i agree with santo'sson completely how can u say rm that reyes isnt a great player already, he is already proving to be a very good fielder, and a very good leadoff man, he is only 21 if the cubs could get him theyd have a shortstop and a leadoff man for a long time and wouldnt have to worry about signing pierre to an extension

Okay, fine. The kid is 22 and, by all accounts, was brought up TOO soon, so his plate discipline suffered.

Just scanning around, I found out some rather notable facts.

He scored three runs from third base on BALKS in 2005.

He "created" 17 infield errors on balls-in-play.

His OBP after the break was .320 and his average was .287.

Sorry, but if you can name me another SS who is 22 with his defensive and offensive skills that we can find, be my guest.

I don't get it - he's young and shows up to work every day. So what? What does he do well?

What does he do well?

He has a cannon for an arm, at least from what i've heard. So defense is not a weakness.

He's an average hitter now, but for someone so thin and fast, leads the league in triples (17) and Stolen Bases (60) and will get more than 30 doubles in coming years.

Reyes also drove in 60 runs from the leadoff spot for a team that was atrocious with RISP.

I want him now because he's still not untouchable.

When Reyes goes for .280/.330 and 120 runs, 30 doubles and 20 triples while playing gold-glove caliber defense, he WILL be untouchable.

Now, you still haven't answered my question.... who's the 22 year old making 300K who is better than Reyes?

I really want to make a deal for this kid. I spent the last hour watching highlights on mets.com and came away very impressed.

Problem solved, offseason complete.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-051214cubs,1,1039536.story?coll=cs-cubs-headlines

Patterson in RF, Murton in LF (when Mabry is resting), Pierre in CF.

Neifi/Cedeno split time at SS, Neifi/Walker/Cedeno split time at 2B.

Maddux/Williams/Rusch are 2-3-4 in order until Wood is ready (two weeks, by Cubs management estimates...).

Hendry avoids having to sign any big-bucks free agents like Damon, and the Cubs don't have to trade any more valuable prospects (certainly not any of the 35 prospects on the "no trade" list...or so it seems like 35 of them...).

Dusty order:

1.) Pierre
2.) Neifi/Walker
3.) Lee
4.) Patterson
5.) Ramirez
6.) Cedeno/Walker
7.) Barrett/Blanco
8.) Mabry/Murton

World Series, here we come!!!!!!

As the article says, this could be the real lineup; Hendry is already talking like a man who has raised the white flag on the trade market and Free Agency.
Looks like all the solutions were internal all along! How could we have missed that?!?!

I really, really hope that Sullivan is wrong. But in order for him to be wrong, a lot of what Hendry is saying and doing (offering Patterson arbitration, for example) has got to be big fats lies and/or a ridiculous bluff.

I am now truly worried that 2006 is already over because the Cubs would rather tank next year than "overpay" for impact players.

World Series, here we come!!!!!!

Assuming we can beat the Cards, Pirates, and Brewers, Braves, Mets and Giants.

Yeah. We definitely need another piece. Dempster just ain't cutting it as closer.

Someone please hit me over the head so I wake up. CP is now are RF what the HE** is going on here. Not only are we not looking into a 2B or SS or even improving our starting pitching now we are putting a bust in RF. Boy is this depressing.

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