The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired left-handed pitcher Xavier Cedeño for cash considerations after the Los Angeles Dodger's designated him for assignment, according to the Dodgers twitter and confirmed by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Cedeño began the season with the Washing Nationals and pitched three innings for them before being designated for assignment and picked up by former-Rays GM Andrew Friedman in Los Angeles. He was DFA'd once more when the Dodgers called up Sergio Santos, and this time the Rays claimed the lefty.
The Rays bullpen is in need of a lefty because Jeff Beliveau is now gone for the season after tearing his labrum, and C.J. Reifenhauser was also placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Jake McGee (who is a high-leverage reliever, not a situational lefty) will begin his rehab assignment within the next few days.
The Rays made room for Cedeño by moving designated hitter John Jaso to the 60-day DL (he injured his wrist in the first game of the season). The Rays also have Everett Teaford on the active roster, and they have not yet made a corresponding roster move, so Cedeño may or may not take his spot.
Confirmed #Rays acquire Cedeno, moved Jaso to 60-day DL to make 40-man room. Cedeno won't join them for a couple days so no 25-man move yet— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 27, 2015
According to Topkin, this pushes Jaso's possible return back to June.
Cedeñohas limited major-league playing time (55 innings), but when he has played he's gotten lefties out. His career xFIP against lefties has been 2.68 (in 28.1 innings) while it's been 5.34 (in 26.2 innings) against righties.
Like most left-handed specialists,Cedeño is weird. Ignore the pitch classifications in the chart and let's talk through what he's throwing.
His main pitch appears to be a 90 mph or so cutter (it's been a few ticks slower in his three innings this year) with pretty good movement. Off of that he works a hard 80 mph curve with some sweeping action. Once in a blue moon, he seems to drop in a changeup, and there's also a few real fastballs thrown in there, but the cutter and the curve are his main weapons.
I couldn't find any good video of Cedeño's cutter, but here's some of the curve.
And here's the seldom-seen changeup:
With Alex Colome due back sooner rather than later, it's not clear where Xavier Cedeño fits in. He may just be around for a few games before being DFA'd again (and possible claimed by someone else), but if that's all he is, it's a welcome rental at a position where the Rays now have zero depth.