With a bullpen that is already besieged with instability for the Tampa Bay Rays, it took another hit as Xavier Cedeno was placed on the DL with left forearm tightness and the news is not good.
With a bullpen that has been unstable thus far this season for the Tampa Bay Rays, one would hope that it could not get any worse that what it is. Unfortunately, it has as the lone left-hander Xavier Cedeno was placed on the 10-day DL with left forearm tightness, and according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times via Twitter Cedeno could be out for months and not weeks.
In a corresponding move, the Rays have recalled Ryan Garton from Triple-A Durham. In five appearances, Garton is 1-0 with 1.35 ERA, and has given up just one run on three hits, with 10 strikeouts and four walks in 6.2 innings. Last season in 37 appearances (39.1-IP) over four stints for the Rays, Garton’s line was 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA and 39 strikeouts all in relief.
One of the steadiest relievers for the Rays last season, appearing in 54 games (3-4, 3.70) with 19 holds, Cedeno has struggled immensely in his seven appearances so far. He has three blow saves, not recorded a single strikeout and making matter worse, of the 13 inherited runners that he has been faced with, eight of them have crossed the plate.
His ERA stands at 3.86 with a 1-1 record but in those seven appearances he has managed to throw only 2.1 innings in which he has yielded two runs (one earned) on four hits, with four walks. Opposing batters are hitting .364 against him and more importantly is that left-handed hitters are batting .500. Last season, left-handers batted just .197 against him and overall .229.
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While the injury was not seen as significant at first, it does however leave the bullpen without a left-hander, which marks the first time since April 2015 when the Rays had Jake McGee, Jeff Beliveau and C.J. Riefenhauser all on the DL. It was during this time that the Rays acquired Cedeno from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations.
Since joining the Rays, Cedeno is 8-6 with a 2.91 ERA in 122 games (86.2-IP) and overall for his career his line is 8-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 199 games (142.2-IP) all in relief. Prior to the Rays, Cedeno pitched for the Houston Astros (2011-13) and the Washington Nationals (2013-15). Although he was acquired from the Dodgers, he never pitched for them.
With the recent development that Cedeno could be out for an extended period, one would speculate that a lefty reliever would become a necessity as right now manager Kevin Cash has been using Danny Farquhar though he is right-handed because of his outstanding changeup against lefties thus holding them to a .143 average.
Should the Rays need a left-hander, they have just one on the 40-man roster and that is Jose Alvarado who is currently pitching in Double-A for the Montgomery Biscuits. They do however, have Justin Marks at Triple-A Durham, but since he is not on the 40-man roster the Rays would need to create an opening for him.