10. Jose Ceda - RHP - 6'4 - 275lbs
(last year: NR)
The San Diego Padres signed Jose Ceda in 2004 as a non-drafted free agent. The Cubs stole him from the Padres in mid 2006 in a deal for Todd Walker. While he spent the rest of that season, and the beginning of 2007 as a starting pitcher, it was apparent that being a reliever would be his destiny. Of course that didn’t stop the Cubs from trying him out as a starting pitcher to begin 2008.
This past season, Ceda spent 15 games in the Florida State League with Daytona. He started 12 of those 15 games, going 2-2 with a 4.80era in 54.1 innings. He struck out 8.8 per 9 and had a whip of 1.27. The Cubs then promoted him to Double A Tennessee where he was strictly a reliever in 22 games. In 30.1 innings of work, he went 2-1 with a 2.08era to go with a 1.32 whip. His walks improved per 9, and his strikeouts went up to 12.5 per 9.
Since going to the bullpen full time, Ceda’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and can hit 99mph on occasion. He has a much improved slider that he has tightened up, and scouts say it could reach 65 on the 20-80 scale if he can figure out his mechanics. Weight could be an issue for Ceda, so with the Cubs and presumably with the Marlins, they will have someone make sure he keeps the extra weight off. In the past, his weight fluctuation has hurt his command of his pitches. His changeup is average at best, but being in the bullpen that won’t be much of a problem.
The Marlins acquired Jose Ceda from the Cubs this past winter in exchange for closer Kevin Gregg. Ceda will more than likely be thrown right into the fire, helping set-up closer Matt Lindstrom at the back end of games. There’s little reason to suggest that he will not be a very good bullpen arm, just as long as he can keep his weight at a manageable number.