Blog Entry

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

Posted on: May 25, 2011 9:11 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 10:35 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Remember when Francisco Cordero was supposedly on borrowed time as the Reds closer? Remember when Reds fans were screaming for Aroldis Chapman to take his place?

Now Chapman is on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment that is designed at least as much to help him find command as it is to get him healthy.

And Cordero -- despite his second blown save of the year on Wednesday night -- is about to become the second Dominican-born closer ever with 300 saves.

It's hard to know exactly what 300 means, since Trevor Hoffman is the all-time leader at 601 and Mariano Rivera (572) is on the way to passing him.

But it is worth remembering that Bruce Sutter, one of the best closers ever, retired with 300 saves.

"[Cordero] is much-maligned, but he's about to tie a Hall of Famer," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Cordero is off to an outstanding start this season, or at least he was until giving up Ryan Howard's game-tying home run in the 10th inning Wednesday. Even so, Cordero is 9-for-11 in save opportunities, with a 2.01 ERA, giving him 299 career saves in 365 chances over 13 seasons.

For Cordero, the significance of 300 is that Jose Mesa is the only other closer from the Dominican Republic to get there. Mesa retired with 321 saves.

Cordero plans to pitch long enough to catch Mesa. He plans to pitch long enough to add quite a few more saves.

"I feel young, even though I'm 36," said Cordero, who is in the last guaranteed year of his contract with the Reds (who hold a $12 million option for 2012 that most likely won't be exercised). "I'm going to try to pitch as long as I'm healthy. Could I go until I'm 40? Right now, I'd tell you yes."

Baker said this is the best Cordero has pitched in the four years they've been together with the Reds. He said Cordero is healthier and in better shape.

Pitching coach Bryan Price said the big difference is that Cordero, mostly a fastball-slider pitcher in recent years, is now using his changeup and curve much more.

"He's a little less predictable," Price said. "He's a four-pitch pitcher now."

Meanwhile, Chapman is at Triple-A Louisville, just trying to figure things out. Price said that while Chapman is scheduled to appear two more times for Louisville (Thursday and Sunday), it's not guaranteed he'll rejoin the Reds next week.

"It's the same as with [Edinson] Volquez," Price said. "They're down there until they're pitching the way they're capable of pitching."

Price disputes the notion that the Reds have to get Chapman back to where he was.

"We need to get him beyond that," Price said.

Meanwhile, Cordero is just focused on getting to 300 saves -- and beyond. And he's even more impressed at what Hoffman and Rivera have done.

"600 saves? That's ridiculous," Cordero said. "I'm going to get to 300 and feel like it's a big deal. And they're at 600. That's ridiculous."

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2012 10:49 pm

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:11 am

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 12:06 pm

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:21 am

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:10 am

Chapman's in AAA, and Cordero's (almost) at 300

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 12:11 am
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