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Astros designate Carlos Pena and Ronny Cedeno for assignment

Jul 21, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT

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The Astros have designated first baseman Carlos Pena and shortstop Ronny Cedeno for assignment, reports Brian McTaggart. Shortstop prospect Jonathan Villar is being promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Cedeno’s spot on the roster. CSN Houston reports that Villar will be the team’s starting shortstop tomorrow.

Villar was acquired along with Anthony Gose and J.A. Happ from the Phillies on July 29, 2010 in the Roy Oswalt trade. In 385 trips to the plate at Triple-A, Villar posted a .786 OPS, including a marked increase in power in what has been the best season of his professional career.

Pena, known for his power, had just eight home runs in 325 plate appearances with the Astros. His .350 slugging percentage is a career low and his .324 on-base percentage is his lowest since 2002, though this isn’t all that surprising considering he is 35 years old. Cedeno had a rebirth of sorts with the Mets last year, posting a .741 OPS in 186 PA. His career average is .641, but the 30-year-old could only get to .558 this year.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Wow, this would be big news half a decade ago.

    What’s Mike Hampton’s status, while we’re at it?

  2. cackalackyank - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Hmmm a washed up first baseman AND a washed up shortstop at the same time! Any bets on where these two will turn up next?

    • rbj1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      New York Yankees, baby!

  3. aceshigh11 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Man, what the hell happened to Pena? That is shocking.

    • pipkin42 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      As Bill said, the guy is 35. Even a guy who wasn’t primarily known for his “old player skills” would be facing a decline at that age. When you’re talking about a Three True Outcomes guy, you definitely shouldn’t be shocked.

      • stex52 - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        Even when they signed him they spent their time talking about “leadership skills.” They had a severe power deficiency and had to take a chance. But when the main discussion about a player coming in is leadership skills, that is a big warning sign. I’m sorry for him, seems to be a very good guy. But this isn’t too shocking.

        Part of the problem that led to his signing in the first place was Wallace’s struggles at the plate. If Wallace can sustain what he has done for the last 20 games or so, they may be better off.

  4. Kevin Gillman - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    So does Brett Wallace get called up, and given a chance to play everyday for the rest of the season?

    • cohnjusack - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      Brett Wallace is up and has been since June 25th, and has started 16 of the Astros 19 games.

      And, if you’re wondering, he’s hitting .281/.234/.625 with 5 HR since being called back up!

      • Kevin Gillman - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        okay thanks.

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