After releasing Ronny Cedeno on Tuesday, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have re-signed the infielder to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies had originally signed Cedeno in mid-January and brought him to big league camp as a non-roster invitee.
Cedeno was one of a handful of candidates to make the Phillies’ 25-man roster after Freddy Galvis was sidelined with a case of MRSA. He was competing with Reid Brignac, Andres Blanco, and Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez ultimately won and the Phillies recently traded for Jayson Nix. Cedeno, 31 and a nine-year Major League veteran, is unlikely to see playing time in the big leagues unless the Phillies suffer another rash of injuries to infielders.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.