JUPITER, Fla. -- His visa issue resolved, Ronny Cedeno arrived at the Cardinals' spring complex on Saturday to participate in his first Spring Training workout. With Cedeno in town, all of the team's position players have now reported.
Cedeno, 30, signed with the Cardinals in late January, giving the club an experienced infielder to back up at both shortstop and second. Cedeno said he passed on the chance to return to the Mets in order to latch on with a Cardinals team that had a defined role waiting for him.
"I'm really psyched to be able to play in an organization like this," Cedeno said. "It's a good situation for me here. I'm going to try and enjoy the opportunity. I just want to be healthy all year and be focused on what I want to do this year."
Cedeno comes in as an experienced shortstop, though the Cardinals will also tap into his ability to play second. Having made only 28 starts at second since 2008, Cedeno said it's a position he'd like to get extra work at this spring. The Cardinals will have to get creative in finding that playing time, though, since Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso and Kolten Wong will also be getting work there.
Cedeno comes to the Cardinals after one season in New York. He logged only 168 at-bats, a drastic drop-off after being the Pirates' everyday shortstop the previous two-plus seasons. The sporadic playing time will continue with the Cardinals unless Rafael Furcal has to be unplugged for health issues. If that's the case, the Cardinals are hopeful that Cedeno's defensive ability will be an asset.
"He's got a glove. We know that he can play shortstop for anybody," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think that he has more in there offensively, and I know that he feels the same. It's just the consistency. He can put together a good at-bat, but we know what his main tool is and that is to go out there and play defense."