Cedeno earned a spot on the team out of camp when fellow southpaw Jerry Blevins was surprisingly dealt away late this spring. The 28-year-old has made five appearances already in 2015, allowing two earned runs over three innings while striking out four and walking two batters. He has filled some temporary pen shortages over the last two years in D.C., but was out of options this season and so had to be added to the active roster heading out of camp. That seemed unlikely until the team traded Blevins.
Righty Rafael Martin will take his place on the active roster for the time being. Martin, 30, is a veteran minor leaguer who has yet to see any MLB action. The Nationals signed Martin out of the Mexican League in 2010, before his age-26 season, and he has bounced up and down the system since. He turned a corner in the upper minors last year, when he worked to a 1.39 ERA over 58 1/3 innings with 10.2 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9. He was particularly nasty in 33 2/3 Triple-A frames, allowing just three earned runs and striking out more batters (42) than he allowed on base (27) by hit or walk.
Of course, the move will leave the Nats’ pen with just one lefty, Matt Thornton. The team does have veteran Rich Hill and well-regarded youngster Matt Grace available at Triple-A, however, and apparently feels comfortable with those options.