Ceda Pitching in his True Role Now

The Cubs have known for some time now that Jose Ceda's future is in relief. Now that the right-hander is a step closer to the big leagues, he's getting a chance in that role.

Ceda began the year as a starter with Class-A Daytona, partially because the Cubs wanted the 21-year-old fireballer to garner enough innings to work on some things – such as his secondary pitches – to take with him into the bullpen one day.

Making 12 starts in the Florida State League this season, Ceda finished 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA while logging 50 1/3 innings. He also made three relief appearances – all at the end of his stint in Daytona to get him tuned up for the role.

"Historically, he gets hurt early in the season so we had him starting a couple games to get loosened up, which would give him about 5-6 days rest in between," explained Daytona manager Jody Davis. "We tried to keep his pitch counts as low as possible, around 60-75 pitches an appearance [as a starter]. He did a great job for us."

Promoted to Class AA Tennessee just over a week ago, Ceda has made four appearances in relief, where he's allowed one run and six hits through 6 2/3 innings.

Acquired at the trade deadline from San Diego for INF Todd Walker in 2006, Ceda tossed two scoreless innings in Tennessee's 12-5 victory over West Tennessee on Tuesday. He struck out four of the eight batters he faced.

Armed with a fastball that tops out in the upper 90s, Ceda is considered by most of the Cubs' front office brass to have the best all-around arm in their system.

"I've been working a lot on my changeup, but mostly on my fastball location," Ceda told InsideTheIvy.com earlier this month. "I get in a lot of trouble with that, so I'm trying to work on getting consistent in my location."

If he can put that together, it is possible that Ceda could move up again later this season – possibly to Chicago as a late-season September call-up, Davis said.

"He's got great stuff, he's going to do well up there (Double-A)," said Davis. "He will most likely be a closer or a set-up man. If he does well up there, I can see him getting a call to the big leagues sometime in September. He's got the stuff to do it."

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TENNESSEE 6, WEST TENN 3 (CLASS AA)

At Jackson, Tenn., OF Tyler Colvin hit his sixth home run – his first since May 12 – in a 2-for-5 performance Wednesday that raised his average to .230 through 77 games. 3B Josh Lansford picked up two hits for the third straight game and is 6-for-19 with three doubles in five games total since joining Tennessee (33-45) from Daytona.

LHP James Russell (3-2, 4.37 ERA) picked up his third win, allowing three runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings. Russell struck out five batters and did not allow a walk.

DAYTONA-TAMPA POSTPONED (CLASS HIGH-A)

PEORIA 3, BURLINGTON 1 (CLASS-A)

At Burlington, Iowa, RHP Hung-Wen Chen (2-4, 3.15) scattered one run and five hits over six innings Wednesday for the win. He struck out two batters and did not allow a walk. OF Cliff Andersen led the Chiefs (32-43) with three hits for his third multi-hit game in the past week to raise his average to .258 through 64 games.

BOISE 4, EVERETT 3 (SS-A)

At Everett, Wash., 3B Josh Vitters extended his hitting streak to eight games Wednesday with his fourth multi-hit game of the season in a 2-for-4 performance. The Cubs' first-round pick in 2007 is batting .351 with five extra-base hits.

LHP James Leverton, the Cubs' eighth-round pick in this year's draft, allowed two runs and four hits in three innings for a no-decision. LHP Harol Tolentino (2-0, 2.25) allowed one run and one hit in four innings to get the win for Boise (4-5).

DSL CUBS1 8, DSL YANKEES2 4

At Boca Chica, D.R., RHP Edilmar Infante (2-1, 1.95) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings for the win Wednesday. He struck out three batters. INF-OF Alex Mejia picked up two hits for Cubs1 (16-6) to extend his hit streak to eight games.

DSL ROYALS 10, DSL CUBS2 1

Also at Boca Chica, Cubs2 (10-12) were held to five hits. OF Pedro Medina collected three hits in his second start. RHP Ramon Garcia (0-2, 9.72) started and took the loss, allowing eight runs and 10 hits in four innings. He struck out four batters.

--Combined Reports


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