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.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.