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Day 3 Winter Meetings: John Russell on Ronny Cedeno
By John Perrotto
The starting shortstop job will be Ronny Cedeno’s to lose when the Pirates begin spring training in February. However, Cedeno will need to perform decently.
“Ronny did a lot of things well after we got him last season,” Pirates manager John Russell said Wednesday at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings. “However, there were times when he was inconsistent. He needs to tighten that up a little bit. He’s proven he is capable of playing at the major-league level but he needs to show he can do things consistently enough to play every day.”
Cedeno hit .258 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 46 games for the Pirates in 2009 after they acquired him from Seattle as part of a seven-player trade on July 29 that shipped Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to the Mariners.
Though he made just four errors, Cedeno did not score well in many of the advanced fielding metrics and did not seem to respond as well to former infield coach Perry Hill’s tutoring as the Pirates’ other infielders. Russell hopes the addition of Carlos Garcia as the first base and infield instructor for 2010 could help Cedeno. Garcia and Cedeno are both natives of Venezuela.
“I think Carlos can really get Ronny on the right track, help him clean up some things in his game that need cleaned up,” Russell said.
The Pirates are close to signing free agent Bobby Crosby, who has spent his entire seven-year career with Oakland, as a free agent. He will challenge Cedeno in spring training.
Russell managed Crosby in the Arizona Fall League after the 2002 season. Crosby then won the American League Rookie of the Year award the next year.
“He’s a hard worker and has some talent,” Russell said. “We can feel he can help us at shortstop or anywhere in the infield.”