Before we get to more Griffey stuff from manager Don Wakamatsu, I can’t help but offer big congratulations to Chad Cordero for being called up. He’s easily one of the best guys I’ve been around in baseball. And to see him finally make it back to the big leagues after basically missing the last two season because shoulder issues is pretty cool.
Cordero was an all-star closer for the Washington Nationals in 2005 after saving 47 games. He had shoulder issues in 2007 and had surgery to repair a torn labrum causing him to miss all of 2008 and basically all of 2009.
“I’ve worked hard for two years to get back up here, hopefully I’ll never have to do it again,” Cordero said.
Those two years weren’t always easy. There were times when he questioned whether he would ever make it back.
“There was a couple times last year definitely when I was rehabbing and my velocity wasn’t coming back,” he said. “I definitely had it in my head that I might never pitch again. But you keep battling through, keep working hard and it paid off.”
If you are expecting a mid 90s fastball and a nasty slider from Cordero, you aren’t going to see it. He’s not that type of pitcher. His fastball tops out at 91 on good nights. He relies on a high 80s fastball, movement and some deception.
“I’ve never been a power guy, I’ve never blown hitters away. I just have to make sure I don’t try to do too much and keep doing what I did before, which is relying on location and mixing pitches.”
Cordero saw his parents last weekend when the Rainiers were in Sacramento and he got to call them again.
“It was pretty cool calling them,” he said. “It made them pretty happy.”
Wakamatsu grinned a little bit about Cordero being called up.
“I’m pretty excited,” Wakamatsu said. “I know how hard he has worked and where he has come from. As far as his role up here, we talked about the stress that’s put on a six-man bullpen especially with the stretch we are going through right now. It just gives us another pitcher. We’ll probably use him from the sixth, seventh inning, maybe the fifth inning. We’ll try to get an inning every other day.”
Wakamatsu was asked about the Fox Sports.com story by Ken Rosenthal that had a few sources saying he asked Griffey about the possibility of retirement.
“That’s not my place,” Wakamatsu said. “His name in this game is much bigger than mine will ever be. In honor of Ken, I would never do that. That’s something Ken had to decide on his own and he made that decision and we honored that.”
Did it bother Wakamatsu?
“It goes back to what I said before about conversations with players, any conversation I had with Ken was just he and I in the room,” Wakamatsu said. “So when you talk about other sources, I don’t know who they are.”
But Wakamatsu acknowledged that Griffey had basically been benched, only playing once in the last 12 games. And it wasn’t an easy thing for him to do.
“I’m no different than some of the players in here. I was with the organization when he had the greatest impact,” Wakamatsu said. “To not write his name in the lineup is tough. I remember the home runs he had in the last week of the season. I remember some of the great ones he had when he was here earlier. You’re always hoping you can rekindle that. It’s tough for a manager to not write him into the lineup.”
SS Jack Wilson will stay with the Mariners through Saturday and report to Triple A Tacoma on Sunday for a rehab assignment.
C Adam Moore ran the bases today, and he could go out on his rehab assignment on either Sunday or Monday.
C Josh Bard is feeling better. He will run in the pool today and could be activated next week.
- Denard Span CF
- Matt Tolbert 2B
- Joe Mauer C
- Justin Morneau 1B
- Jim Thome DH
- Jason Kubel RF
- Delmon Young LF
- Danny Valencia 3B
- Nick Punto SS
RHP Carl Pavano (5-5, 3.99 ERA)
- Ichiro RF
- Chone Figgins 2B
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Jose Lopez 3B
- Milton Bradley DH
- Casey Kotchman 1B
- Josh Wilson SS
- Rob Johnson C
- Michael Saunders LF
RHP Felix Hernandez 2-4, 3.50 ERA