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The ex-Cub the media just won't leave alone is back in the news today. That's right, Ronny Cedeño finds his name in ignominious headlines because of the Pirates' latest batting order decision.
Poor E6 (as my friends at LOHO like to call him). Last year he was made expendable by the acquisition of fellow light-hitting utility infielder Aaron Miles. As if that weren't enough, this year Pirate manager John Russell had decided he'd like his pitchers to hit ahead of Ronny and his much-maligned tilde, according to the Bucs' website:
Russell said that Andy LaRoche's plate patience makes him a good fit to hit seventh, one spot in front of the pitcher. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno will then slot into the No. 9 spot, effectively making him the leadoff hitter after the first go-through of the lineup.
"Cedeno is going to see better pitches to hit," Russell said. "It frees Ronny up to be more aggressive."
Still, Cedeno will have to show an ability to consistently get on base for this lineup to set up well for the top of the order. Cedeno is a career .240 hitter with a on-base percentage of just .280.
Spin those facts and quotes however you want them, but the only way I know how to react to it is with a big ol' "Ouch."
Maybe Ronny can take some solace in knowing that the man who once replaced him, Aaron Miles, not only returned to the NL Central via an ever-so-brief stint in the AL West, but he also knows how it feels to bat behind the pitcher. Miles has started 41 games in the number 9 hole (all of them in the NL). So for the 16 times the Reds and Pirates square off, Ronny has a chance of not being the worst hitter on the diamond.
Hang in there, Ronny. We're pulling for you.