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Astros name Ronny Cedeno their starting shortstop

How bad are things for Houston Astros fans?

So bad that the club picked up recently released St. Louis Cardinals back-up infielder Ronny Cedeno and installed him as the club's new shortstop.

The move means Houston -- and GM Jeff Luhnow -- will release another former Cardinals infielder, Tyler Greene.

While Greene is an .224 hitter in the majors, he still has an upside, even at 29 years old. Cedeno has had 779 games in the majors with five different teams to prove what he has to offer. 

The Cardinals apparently thought so little of Cedeno that they let him go with no obvious back-up for rookie Pete Kozma on the roster. Daniel Descalso, who came to spring training with the inside track to being the Redbirds' starting second base job, will be available in case of an emergency. But, without Cedeno, there is really no Plan B.

I understand that sometimes teams paint themselves into a corner by letting their talent age beyond the point of no return. But there is absolutely no excuse for the Astros, who play in one of the largest markets in the country, to pour gasoline on their roster and burn the whole thing to the ground.

It's a shame that they're going to have a $25 million payroll when they could have easily invested four times that amount and been profitable while putting a decent product on the field.

Properly run teams don't need to gut their club to the rafters to rebuild. And, while Houston has been a rival of the Cardinals for years, I feel terrible for the way their fans have been treated.