Nov 17, 2013, 8:38 PM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 27
How acquired: Waivers, April 23, 2013
MLB service time: 1 year, 19 days
2013 salary+bonuses: $495,900
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2016, free agent in 2019
2013 Stats: 16 G, 12.1 IP, 15 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 9 SO, 1.865 WHIP, 6.57 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 0.0 WAR
2013 analysis: The Nationals brought in Xavier Cedeño in late April after it became clear Zach Duke wasn’t going to cut it as their lone lefty reliever. Cedeño wasn’t the perfect solution – a castoff from the worst team in baseball – but he did find some success in Washington. Cedeño made 11 appearances with the Nats and held an impressive 1.50 ERA. Cedeño didn’t save the Nats bullpen, but he gave Davey Johnson a much needed option from the left side.
Cedeño spent most of his year at Triple-A Syracuse where he made 39 appearances with a 1.31 ERA. The Nats adjusted Cedeño’s mechanics when they brought him in and the difference was staggering. He struck out 45 batters in 34 1/3 innings and quickly made a case to be called up. Twice the Nats brought him to Washington: once in June for two games and then in September where he pitched in nine different games. Both times he showed he belonged in the big leagues.
2014 outlook: The Nats are likely to beef up their bullpen with balance a main priority, so it’s hard to project where Cedeño fits at the moment. The best bet is for him to start at Syracuse and prepare for an insurance call-up. If he has the type of success with the Chiefs that he did last season, then he’ll likely be up in the majors before long.
Cedeño has been a completely different pitcher since joining the Nats from Houston and is a viable option for 2014. Though he will in all likelihood start the year in the minors, the possibly he makes the team out of spring training can’t be discounted. For him to make that happen, he may have to beat out Fernando Abad and Ian Krol. Cedeño had the best numbers of the three with Washington, but was trusted with the fewest appearances.
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