Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bring Back Chief

One-time Nationals all-star closer Chad Cordero has refused a minor league assignment with the Seattle Mariners and opted for free agency.

Cordero is working back from a torn labrum that can be almost entirely blamed on the Nationals training staff, who allowed him to pitch through shoulder tendinitis, then a torn lat, which finally led to the torn labrum, once considered a death sentence for pitchers.

Fans may also remember how former GM Jim Bowden unceremoniously announced on live sports talk radio that he would non-tender Cordero, before he'd informed the player or his agent.

Cordero is now 28 years old (that's less than a year older than J.D. Martin). He appeared in 9 games for the Mariners and allow 7 ER in 9.2 IP. That's not great, but he struck out 6, showing that he could compete. Earlier this season at AAA Tacoma, he struck out 22 in 19.2 innings and had a 4.12 ERA.

His velocity is still down, and he never had much to begin with. But his average fastball this season was right about 88 mph in his time in Seattle, not the absurdly slow 83 mph we saw back in 2008 when he last threw for the Nationals.

It seems clear that Cordero will pitch on any team that gives him a shot at pitching in the majors, and why shouldn't it be Washington? As long as he doesn't totally implode, he'll be a fan favorite.
Pretty soon Tyler Clippard's arm will fall off, and would you really rather watch Joel Peralta?


Kevin Rusch said...

i'm game. go get him.

Positively Half St. said...

I am up for it, too, and said so on Nats Journal the second the news came out. Just saying I'm enthusiastic.

Anonymous said...

Nope. I love Chief, and I'd certainly rather see him around Syracuse than Ron Villone or El Duque, but I simply don't see how there's a realistic path for him to get into our bullpen mix while he's topping out at around 88MPH. Plus he'd be blocking Wilkie if he does well, and I'd like to see how his junk plays in September. No Wilkamania, No Chief!

DCJohn said...

For a guy who wants to throw Adam Dunn under the bus, I am amazed by your sentimentality for the Chief. I hope he does well, but I think his hubris is going to prevent him from getting groove back. I hope he doesn't need the money because he got a pretty good settlement from us.

Unknown said...

I realize Dunn likes hanging with Zimm and Willsy, but trading him to a playoff contender isn't really throwing the guy under the bus.

JayB said...

Yes....Joel is more going backwards please....this team needs to spend money and move forward at most all positions....not backwards...Chad was never that good and he clearly is not any good now.

Unknown said...

I'd personally rather see a fan out of the stands pitch than see Miguel Batista out there again.

Section 222 said...

Seriously? I saw the Chief get lit up by some nondescript AL team recently. No thanks. He was a roller coaster when he was in top form. So yes, I prefer Peralta.

I know no one likes Batista, but he's kind of a rare breed -- a guy who can give you three or four innings f needed having done the same thing the day before. So I can understand why Rizzo/Riggs are reluctant to part with him. Can Stammen or Atilano play that rubber armed role? Probably not.

jw said...

I love Chief, but the last thing I want to see is Chief set up to fail in our bullpen.
I don't think it would work, unless he has some upside and he's willing to rehab in the minors to get to a consistent 90 mph on his fastball.