Ronny Cedeno: Ready for the Big Leagues

<I>Inside The Ivy</I> recently caught up with the newest member of the Chicago Cubs, infielder Ronny Cedeno. The young shortstop had been scorching hot through the first two weeks at Triple-A with a .348 batting average, three home runs and six RBI. Those numbers gave Cedeno optimism that he could advance to the majors soon, but not in his wildest dreams could the 22-year-old predict he would join the big league club this week.

"I'm learning more and more as I go along," Cedeno said. "If you play well at Triple-A, you can get a taste of the big leagues. Yeah, I thought I might make it soon—as in two months."

Instead, Cedeno was promoted on Thursday when the Cubs placed Nomar Garciaparra on the 15 day-disabled list with a torn left groin.

"I was surprised and really excited," Cedeno said. "It was really nice (to get called up). I know it was obviously very hard for Nomar to get hurt, but I'm excited."

A promotion to the major league club was quite a jump for Iowa's top hitter through the first two weeks. Cedeno spent most all of 2004 at Double-A West Tenn before joining Iowa in time for the postseason. It did not take the middle infielder long to adjust to Triple-A, as Cedeno hit home runs in his first two games at Iowa this year and has been on a tear at the plate ever since.

"When I'd go to hit, I didn't think too much. Nothing was really going through my mind," Cedeno said. "I can see the ball really well and my defense has been all right."

After being a starter all throughout his minor league career, Cedeno will now have to adjust to coming off the bench. Since the season began, the Cubs have lost both Garciaparra and second baseman Todd Walker. The team already has prospect Mike Fontenot on its bench, and Cedeno will give the Cubs an additional option around the infield.

"I'm trying to learn more and get more experience at this level," said Cedeno, who has been a member of the Cubs' 40-man roster since November of 2003.

His glove work is sound, but Cedeno admits he is constantly working on his throws across the diamond. It is his hitting that is the main strength which will be brought to the major league club.

"I am not a power hitter," said Cedeno, who had 20 career home runs in five-plus seasons with the Cubs' farm system. "Sometimes the ball jumps off my bat. I'm more of a line drive hitter.

"I'm trying to be a professional and just get better and better. I think I am ready to be in the big leagues."

Scott Sabin is the contributing editor of Inside The Ivy. Write to Scott at scott@insidetheivy.com.


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