The St. Louis Cardinals are the masters of turning utility infielders into the perennial all-stars, so that is very good news for Ronny Cedeno, who signed a contract this afternoon.
The veteran infielder broke into the league as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but was quickly replaced by everyone’s favorite heartthrob, grinder, powder keg Ryan Theriot. Since then, Cedeno has bounced around between the minors and the big leages, spending time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets. Last season, with the Mets, Cedeno actually hit the ball pretty well, OPSing (sure, it’s a verb) over .740.
Cedeno should be a nice fit on the Cardinals’ bench, considering he plays every infield position. The Cardinals’ infield is a little bit like the Tampa Bay Rays: they have a lot of players who can play multiple positions, which gives a National League team some nice flexibility with substitutions and lineups. Considering Cedeno signed a Major League contract, it’s hard to imagine that the Cardinals will keep their postseason hero, Pete Kozma, on the opening day roster, unless they want to keep five infielders.
It’s pretty clear this signing is an insurance policy on the often injured Rafael Furcal, who was an all-star last season before having a terrible second half of the season. Cedeno will act as a bandage to any infield injury that the Cardinals have, until Cedeno locates the Cardinals’ pixie dust locker of goodness, turning him into the next Cal Ripken Jr. I mean, how else can we explain Pete Kozma?