Pirates Notebook: Cedeno might stay on bench

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Shortstop Ronny Cedeno was on the bench for a fourth time in five games, as the Pirates' coaching staff informed him he would take some time to rediscover some consistency.

Cedeno, interviewed before the game Sunday, took no issue.

"I've been inconsistent a little bit," he said. "It's part of the game. It happened to me, and I think they did it right. They're right. I agree with them. I can sit on the bench a couple days, relax, then come back to play everyday."

Cedeno can get emotional, particularly too down when things are not going well, and it affects his play. The coaching staff apparently saw too much of that during the 12-game losing streak, and that came to a head Friday when bench coach Gary Varsho pulled him out of a workout and had some heated words for him in the dugout tunnel.

Cedeno is batting .232 with four home runs and 15 RBIs, trending mostly way up or way down. The same has applied to his defense, where he has committed six errors and other lapses while also showing good range.

"It's consistency with Ronny, always," manager John Russell said. "We need for him to keep his emotions in check, to stay focused."

No one has informed Cedeno if he will resume starting Tuesday in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.

Cedeno's replacement, Bobby Crosby, is batting .236 and also has six errors. But Crosby went 3 for 3 Sunday, and he started each of the two weekend victories, so Russell might not be inclined to change back soon.

Crosby, one of the team's most vocal leaders, made clear he would welcome more starts.

"I feel like I can make the guys around me better," Crosby said. "I can always get better, too, obviously, but having a chance to play some more, I think, already has helped me at the plate."

Small interest in Iwamura

General manager Neal Huntington said a small number of teams have expressed mild interest in second baseman Aki Iwamura, designated for assignment last week, but a trade remains far from certain.

It is extraordinarily unlikely that any team would assume more than the required $300,000 or so of Iwamura's remaining $2.93 million, so money will not be a factor. Huntington reiterated that his intent is to move Iwamura to give him a chance to hook up with another team.

If there is no trade, Iwamura would be optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis. And, if he refuses the assignment, as reliever Jack Taschner just did, he would give up the remainder of that otherwise guaranteed money.

Buried treasure

• First baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce is "almost at full health" with Indianapolis and could return to Pittsburgh soon, Huntington said. That will prompt what Huntington predicted would be a "tough decision" in sending out a position player. He did not give a specific timetable for Pearce but added the team might wait until he is "locked in" at the plate. After Huntington spoke, Pearce went 2 for 3 with three walks, an RBI and a steal.

• Huntington conceded that backup catcher Jason Jaramillo, batting .180 after going 1 for 3 with a key single Sunday, could go to the minors. Asked if that were possible, Huntington replied, "It is. It's something I think we need to talk more about. J.J. is more about defense than offense, but he's been better. It's been like too many situations, where there's been an opportunity and somebody hasn't seized it." Erik Kratz is the top option at Indianapolis. Kratz, 30, is batting .293 with six home runs and 24 RBIs.

• There remains no timetable for starter Charlie Morton's rehabilitation stint in Indianapolis to end, Huntington said. In three starts there, Morton is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA.

Garrett Jones extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 with a first-inning RBI single and finished 2 for 3 with a walk. Jones is batting .415 during the streak, 17 for 41. He also made a fine diving play at first base in the second inning. "Just feeling good," Jones said.

• Huntington described Class AA Altoona closer Danny Moskos, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2007, as being "very close" to a promotion to Indianapolis. Moskos recorded his 16th save Sunday and has a 1.50 ERA


Dejan Kovacevic: dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Find more at PBC Blog .


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