Chad Cordero hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 and hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2007, but the former All-Star closer is apparently preparing for a comeback next year.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com caught up with Cordero at yesterday’s Nationals-Dodgers game and reports that he’s “in great shape after losing 25 pounds by being on Weight Watchers.”
Rarely do we get to add another name to the “Best Shape Of His Life” list during the season, so this is an exciting day.
As for Cordero, he never really recovered from a torn labrum five years ago. The injury sapped his velocity and turned him into a shell of the guy who saved a league-leading 47 games with a 1.82 ERA for the Nationals in 2005 and was an effective closer in 2006 and 2007. In fact, in the five years since the injury Cordero has thrown a grand total of 14 innings.
Cordero is still just 30 years old and is certainly worth rooting for, but his comeback has some pretty long odds.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.