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Dusty Baker Picks Ronny Cedeno as Shortstop

by Jason Vernon
2006-04-09

Dusty's Youngster
Chicago Cub manager Dusty Baker typically will pick a veteran player over a youngster when he breaks camp and goes north. In spring training this year he had the incumbent at shortstop, Neifi Perez, going up against the rookie Ronny Cedeno. The 32 year old Perez has been a positively anemic hitter throughout his career. He's gotten opportunity after opportunity because of a couple of solid Coors Field inflated offensive seasons at the beginning of his career. Enter Cedeno who comes with a minor league reputation of a good batting eye and some potential pop in his bat - two things that Perez does not have. Baker broke with his convention and decided on Cedeno to be his starting shortstop for 2006 and in four games the rookie is hitting .429/.429/.786. Kudos to Baker for doing something that was probably quite uncomfortable for him to do.

Two Padre Regulars
Two Padre regulars have gotten off to good starts this year. Adrian Gonzalez, the highly-touted first baseman, is one of them. Now that he has a chance to play everyday for a team he's trying to prove his worth as a premium offensive player. Through four games he's off and running with a .375/.375/.688 line. The other regular is right fielder Brian Giles who already has six walks this year. With the rest of the lineup so horrendous why pitch to Giles?

Knuckleballer Set Packing
R.A. Dickey's American League record tying performance of six home runs allowed has earned him a trip to the minors. There he'll work on the knuckleball that comfortably dipped into the strike zone six times and was belted out of the Ballpark at Arlington six times a few days ago. Equally atrocious journeyman Rick Bauer will be called up to replace Dickey.

Once a Week
When you're Tampa Bay the only day of the week that you feel like you have a good shot to win is when Scott Kazmir takes the mound for you. Today Kazmir goes up against Toronto's best, Roy Halladay. Kazmir's opening day start in Baltimore was not good while Halladay's against the Twins was a success.

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Nationals 28-19 +5.79
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