Brewers Add Xavier Cedeno To Bullpen Mix
The Brewers acquired another arm for their talented but well-used bullpen on Friday, acquiring lefthander Xavier Cedeno from the White Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Bryan Connell and righthander Yohan Dominguez, both of whom were at Rookie-level Helena.
Cedeno helps a Milwaukee ‘pen that has worn down of late. Josh Hader has a 4.73 ERA this month, Jeremy Jeffress has allowed a run in three of his last six appearances, Matt Albers has allowed 15 runs in 3.2 innings since returning from a shoulder injury, Dan Jennings went down with a sprained ankle on Thursday and Corey Knebel was demoted to the minors last week with a 5.08 ERA.
The Brewers began the day with a two-game lead in the National League wild card race, largely on the strength of their bullpen, and are trying to hang on for their first playoff appearance since 2011.
Xavier Cedeno, LHP
Signed to a minor league deal before the season, Cedeno has quietly been one of MLB's most effective lefthanded relievers this year, posting a 2.84 ERA in 33 appearances and averaging more than a strikeout per inning. Cedeno comes at batters with a mid-80s cutter and an upper-70s curveball, and he's effective against both righties (.200, .622 OPS) and lefties (.209, .602 OPS). He has primarily pitched in the seventh and eighth inning this year and has shown the fortitude to succeed in late relief.
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Connell signed with the Brewers for $179,500 out of Panama in 2015 and stands out more for his physicality than baseball polish. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound outfielder needed three seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making the jump to the states this year. He hit .219/.288/.342 with a 40 percent strikeout rate at Rookie-level Helena. Connell is a corner outfielder who plays more right than left, and he will go only as far as his bat will carry him. He remains very raw at this point and has many years of improvement ahead.
Johan Dominguez, RHP
Dominguez signed with the Brewers out of Panama in 2016 and has spent all three of his professional seasons in Rookie ball thus far. The 6-foot-4 righthander moved to relief this year and went 3-0, 0.82 with 36 strikeouts and 13 walks in 33 innings.