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As Pie struggles, Cedeno could see action in CF
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/5/2008 12:19 AM

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ST. LOUIS -- There was an interesting development Sunday during the Cubs' early workouts: Ronny Cedeno was taking flyballs in center field.

"I don't know, but Lou told me," Cedeno said, referring to manager Lou Piniella.

Cedeno is a middle infielder by trade, but he's stuck behind Ryan Theriot at shortstop and, for the most part, Mark DeRosa at second base.

During winter ball, Cedeno played some center field, and the Cubs ran him out there a few times in spring training.

"I don't know what's going to happen," said Cedeno, who entered Sunday batting .391 (18-for-46) with 1 homer, 16 RBI and a .472 on-base percentage. "I want to play, but I don't make the lineup.

"He (Piniella) makes the lineup. He's the manager. I'll be ready. Work hard and do my routine. I'm happy this year."

Here's where it gets more interesting. Right-handed hitting Reed Johnson started Sunday night against Cardinals righty Todd Wellemeyer, while one-time phenom and left-handed batter Felix Pie sat on the bench.

Piniella and hitting coach Gerald Perry have been working with Pie, but Piniella gave an odd-sounding answer Sunday when asked about Pie making progress.

"He's working," Piniella said. "He's getting his hits here and there. I've got some people hurt, so I don't really want to be put in situations where I have to pinch hit much if I don't have to."

This may or may not mean that Pie could be on his way to Class AAA Iowa. However, Cubs officials emphatically shot down rumors that had Pie possibly going to San Diego for shortstop Khalil Greene.

Whatever way it shakes out, Cedeno said he's ready.

"It's different," he said of center field. "It's not hard. If you go out there and work in b.p. (batting practice) off the bat … I think I'll be OK."