OAKLAND — Chad Cordero was not among the final September callups for the Angels on Monday, but Manager Mike Scioscia hopes that doesn’t signal an end to the inspiring comeback of the former Washington Nationals closer and Cal State Fullerton star.
Cordero, who had a 2.79 earned-run average and 113 saves from 2005-07, was limited by shoulder injuries to 15 big league games from 2008-12, and his 2011 comeback attempt with Toronto ended amid his struggles to cope with the death of his 11-week-old daughter in December of 2010.
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto, based in part on a cellphone video of Cordero pitching in a Cal State Fullerton scrimmage last February, signed the 31-year-old right-hander to a minor-league deal, and Cordero went 2-3 with a 5.44 ERA and two saves in 52 games for triple-A Salt Lake.
But that wasn’t enough to warrant a promotion to the Angels, who called up pitchers Tommy Hanson, Matt Shoemaker and Robert Coello and first baseman Efren Navarro from Salt Lake on Monday.
“For being out for so long and coming back, I think it was an incredible journey for him,” Scioscia said. “And I don’t think it’s over yet. I think he still has some more upside. I think he still has a chance to help some major-league teams.”
Scioscia said Cordero’s “name came up several times” during the season.
“His stuff definitely picked up from spring training until the season ended, and I hope that he’ll keep going and fill that little gap that’s keeping him from getting to the major leagues again,” Scioscia said. “He’s worked really hard to do it.”