Before tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals announced that they dealt left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations:
Cedeno, who was designated for assignment by the Nats on April 14, appeared in five games this season and had a 6.00 ERA. He gave up two earned run over three innings of work, striking out four batters, but he also had two wild pitches. Washington added Felipe Rivero late last week as the second lefty in the ‘pen to join Matt Thonrton, who is off to a great start.
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The 28-year old reliever had been with the Nationals for the last three seasons since being selected off waivers from the Houston Astros in April of 2013. He had a 3.38 ERA in 25 career games with the Nats, but his strikeouts per nine inning went down from nine in 2013 to 6.4 in 2014.
This spring, Cedeno won the second lefty spot in the bullpen from Rich Hill despite having a 5.06 ERA in 12 spring appearances. Even with the high ERA, opponents hit only .190 against him during the month of March.
Right now, Hill is still in the Nats system, pitching for triple-A Syracuse. He has a 2.25 ERA in four appearances and has struck out nine batters. With Hill in triple-A along with Rivero and Rafael Martin pitching in DC, there wasn’t any room for Cedeno on the current 40-man roster and they could not have him on their triple-A roster.
Now, Cedeno joins a Dodgers team that is off to a great start and will join their 40-man roster. They are currently ahead of the San Diego Padres by percentage points in the NL West due to their 9-4 start.
Their bullpen ERA is at 2.40, which is the third lowest in the National League behind the Nats and the St. Louis Cardinals. Los Angeles’ bullpen has done well, even with closer Kenley Jansen out to start the season. Cedeno will be in LA’s bullpen, but will probably not be asked to be in a major role, but mainly for depth purposes.
It will be interesting to see how Cedeno does in a new change of scenery out on the West Coast. However, with the Nationals arms in their bullpen, there wasn’t a fit for Cedeno, who was out of options. He will mainly be a lefty specialist for the Dodgers when you consider that right-handed hitters hit .339 against him in his career while lefties hit .252.