So the Astros did a couple of bizarre things today. Let's recap, with what it says about the direction of the club:
*Signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to MLB contract.
*Told Tyler Greene that he won't make the team, and that the Astros will try to trade him.
*Cedeno will be the primary SS1, with Marwin Gonzalez seeing some time throughout the season.
*Catcher Jason Jaramillo, J.D. Martinez optioned to Oklahoma City.
So here's what it looks like the defensive lineup will be:
1B: Brett Wallace
2B: Jose Altuve
3B: Matt Dominguez
SS: Ronny Cedeno
LF: Chris Carter
CF: Justin Maxwell
RF: Rick Ankiel
C: Jason Castro
*The outfielders will be rotated in and out, but there you have it.
Cedeno, 30, was released by the Cardinals last Tuesday, hitting .290/.371/.419 in 16 games. He was signed to backup Rafael Furcal, who will be out for the season, but the Cardinals are going with Pete Kozma with Daniel Descalso backing him up - pushing Cedeno out.
Cedeno has a career .647 OPS (coincidentally, the exact same as Tyler Greene). In his lone AL experience in 2009 - 59 games and 206 PAs with the Mariners - Cedeno "hit" .167/.213/.290. ZIPS puts Cedeno's WAR at 0.4 for 2013, while Tyler Greene's ZIPS put him at 0.9. A negligible difference, for sure.
But the real difference comes in their fielding. FanGraphs says Tyler Greene was worth -8.8 runs defensively. Cedeno was worth -2.5. So he's the less-worst defensive shortstop option.
*J.D. Martinez's optioning to Oklahoma City (where he has only played 23 games in his minor-league career) is good news for The Brandons (Barnes and Laird), who stick around at least for a few more days.
*It was already pretty much set, but Jaramillo heading down means that Castro and Corporan are your Opening Day catchers.