Adding yet another left-handed reliever to the mix in the organization, the Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they had claimed Houston Astros' left-hander Xavier Cedeno off waivers:
The #Nationals today claimed LHP Xavier Cedeno off waivers from the Houston Astros and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) April 23, 2013
The Astros designated Cedeno for assignment five days back after the 26-year-old left-hander put up an 11.37 ERA over five games and 6.1 IP this season in which he walked seven and K'd three. In 52 games and 39.0 major league innings pitched so far in his career, Cedeno has a 6.00 ERA, 4.59 FIP, 21 walks (4.85 BB/9) and 39 Ks (9.00 K/9). Houston designated Cedeno for assignment when they called up infielder Brandon Laird last week. In an article by MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, Astros' GM Jeff Luhnow said, "We want to keep him in the organization. We're going to review all of our options at this point."
In Syracuse, the left-handed reliever will join the likes of Bill Bray (who's on the 7-Day DL), Patrick McCoy, J.C. Romero and Fernando Abad among the stockpile of left-handers the Nationals have assembled should they decide at some point this season that they want a second lefty in the pen along with Zach Duke. The Nationals bullpen, as a whole, has the fifth-highest ERA (4.70) so far this season, with the fifth-highest FIP (3.89), 8th highest xFIP (3.72), sixth highest K/9 (8.95), seventh-highest BB/9 (3.34) and seventh-highest total IP (59.1).
As they've stated since this winter, the Nationals don't feel they need a second left-hander in the bullpen, preferring instead to use their right-handers who have good splits against lefties.
"I certainly would rather have a shutdown right-handed reliever than a mediocre left-handed reliever in my bullpen even if it's left on left," Rizzo said in a mid-March MLB Network Radio interview.