Francisco Cordero’s disastrous stint with the Astros is officially over, as he was given his release by the club today.
After being acquired from the Blue Jays in July as part of a 10-player deal, Cordero allowed 11 runs on 13 hits and four walks in five innings over six appearances. That’s a 19.80 ERA. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also went 0-for-3 in save opportunities. The 37-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched since August 1 due to an inflamed ligament in his right toe and recently developed some shoulder soreness, so the Astros just decided to get rid of some dead weight.
Cordero has a career-worst 7.55 ERA over 47 appearances this season overall. Only Manny Acosta has a higher ERA (7.62) among pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched. It’s possible he could land somewhere on a minor league deal this winter, but he’s looking pretty much cooked.
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.