Heilman, acquired less than two months ago from the Mets as part of the J.J. Putz trade, was an expendable veteran arm with no defined role headed into Spring Training.
Cedeno, who turns 26 on Monday, is a former top prospect of the Cubs who has yet to reach expectations in the big leagues. A contact hitter with a good glove up the middle (think a younger, slightly more talented version of Willie Bloomquist), Cedeno batted .269 last season in 99 games, receiving playing time at shortstop and second base. For one stretch lasting from mid-April until the beginning of June, Cedeno kept his batting average above .300, peaking at a sizzling .391 on May 2nd. There was even some speculation in Chicago during this time that Cedeno would supplant either Ryan Theriot or Mike Fontenot as the starter at second or short. He’ll look to do that this season to the likes of Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt.
Olson, a former “sandwich” pick in the 2005 June amateur draft (#48 overall), is another ex-top prospect who has yet to completely pan out. A slender lefty who throws his fastball in the low-90’s, Olson relies on a big breaking curveball (think Barry Zito) to get batters out, and complements his one and two with a solid changeup. He started 26 games last year for the Baltimore Orioles, posting a 9-10 record with a 6.65 ERA. Olson will be given every chance to crack the M’s rotation and would likely be used in the pen if he failed to impress in Peoria.
Husky Basketball: The Dawgs are in Tucson today to take on the Arizona Wildcats later this evening. The unranked Wildcats are coming off a non-conference home victory Saturday over Houston. Though they’ve struggled this season, Arizona is always tough at home and historically presents matchup problems for an undersized Husky team.
Junior forward Chase Budinger, recipient of an uncalled for head stomping over the weekend, should be fired up and ready to ignite his team against a first-place Washington team looking to extend their lead over the rest of the Pac-10.
The game is scheduled for 5:30 PM and can be seen locally on Fox Sports, or heard live on 950 KJR AM.
*One programming note regarding the site: We won’t be having a Top 11 list this week amidst the scrutiny of a number of other issues going on in the world of sports. Check back next Thursday for the Top 11 on its usual day and time.