Bobby Crosby May Find a Home Soon

Five seasons ago, Bobby Crosby was fresh off winning the American League Rookie of the Year award and Ronny Cedeno was a quick riser through the Cubs organization. Both looked like promising long-term shortstops for their respective clubs. Today, it appears the two will be fighting for a starting position on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Troy Renck is reporting that Crosby is on the verge of signing with the Buccos and should be given the opportunity to compete for a starting gig.

This is a poor situation. Both were once dripping with potential, but that attribute is not of static nature. Players do not retain high-upside simply because they held such qualities three, five, seven years. In this case, both have some chance to become useful players off a Major League bench, but pitting one against the other in a starting competition? Yuck.

The word competition will produce some satisfaction since the adage about competition brings about the best in some individuals. That may or may not be true, and if it is, the Pirates need more competition to make either of these cats a worthwhile starter. Over the last three seasons Crosby has hit a park-unadjusted .231/.290/.348 and Cedeno has hit .228/.278/.349. Crosby’s line is better in its raw form and only improves once adjusting for the facts that A) he was in the A.L. and B) he played in a spacious environment. One must also adjust Cedeno’s offensive production, noting that he spent all of last season between two home parks that hinder right-handed power.

Crosby turns 30 in a matter of weeks while Cedeno is about a month and a half shy of his 27th birthday. After posting mostly above average UZR scores at shortstop, Crosby sparingly played the position while the A’s plugged in better alternatives. Instead he spent time at third base where he made quite a few errors and looked out of place. He still appears to be the better of the two options when filling the six hole, which isn’t saying much. Still, the Pirates aren’t knocking on the door of contention either. They’re simply biding their time while seeking out a more enthusiastic-looking long-term option so this is more of a band-aid than anything.

Assuming this deal gets done and Neal Huntington hasn’t lost his mind, Crosby shouldn’t make too much coin and at the same time will have a pretty good shot at becoming a starting shortstop once again.

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This move will certainly test the theory that two wrongs might indeed make a right. Apparently Huntington feels the issue with Cedeno is his concentration and this could provide the incentive for him to keep his eyes on the ball.