Chad Patrick Cordero
(born March 18
) is a right-handed relief pitcher
in Major League Baseball
for the Washington Nationals
. He broke into the big league ranks with the Montréal Expos
At age 18, Cordero was drafted by the San Diego Padres
in the 26th round of the draft, but he chose to enroll at Cal State Fullerton
, where he was a standount reliever. With an ERA
of under 1.83 he made the 1st team All-America Freshman team and was selected to the Big West All-Conference team, the latter of which he repeated in each of his next two years. In , he was the Fullerton Regional MVP (College World Series), and then was drafted by the Expos in the 1st round (20th overall).
First two years
He pitched briefly in 2003, and then appeared in 69 games for the Expos in , compiling an ERA of 2.94.
2005 - the breakout year
The Expos became the Washington Nationals the following year, and Cordero had a career best season. In June , Cordero tied the major league record for saves in one month with 15. He shares the record with Lee Smith and John Wetteland. In addition, he also converted his 24th consecutive save, breaking the club record held by Mel Rojas. On September 9, 2005, Cordero's 44th save broke the franchise record. He completed the 2005 season with 47 saves, leading the major leagues, and was selected to the National League pitching staff for the 2005 MLB All-Star game, facing one batter, Iván Rodríguez, and striking him out. He was the 2005 Washington Nationals Player of the Year, and won the National League Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award.
In February , Cordero and his teammate Brian Schneider
were chosen to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic
. During the season, however, his production tailed off. While he still got 29 saves (8th best in the league), his ERA went from 1.82 to 3.19.
In the beginning of the season, Cordero faced a tough time against batters. By May 6
, his ERA was 4.70. Cordero admitted he was distracted by the illness of his ailing grandmother, and missed six games for personal bereavement leave. He came back a changed man, and starting May 16
made 12 consecutive appearances without allowing a run
. On June 13
, Cordero (at age 25 years and 86 days) became the second youngest player in baseball history to reach 100 saves in a career. (The Angels' Francisco Rodriguez
is the youngest at 24 years and 246 days old.)
2008 and on
Cordero will miss the rest of the season and will undergo surgery to repair a labrum
tear. His expected recovery time is 12-18 months, meaning he may miss the majority - if not all - of the 2009 season. Despite his success, Chad Cordero "will not be back with the team next year because of a conflict with general manager Jim Bowden and will look for employment elsewhere.
- Cordero enters to Metallica's "King Nothing" during games.
- When Cordero enters a game, RFK Stadium's scoreboard displays the phrase "Hail to the Chief!", a reference to his nickname ("The Chief").
- Cordero has three siblings: two brothers, Alan and Matthew, and a sister, Ashley.
- Chad Cordero graduated from Don Antonio Lugo High School in Chino, CA., in 2000.
- Cordero is well-known for wearing the bill of his hat almost completely flat and having it pulled very close down to his eyes when he pitches.
- Chad drives a Chrysler 300, Clearwater Blue Pearl is the color
- Cordero's off-season home is in Fullerton, CA
- Cordero is primarily of Mexican American descent with some Cherokee heritage. His teammates gave him the nickname "Chief" because of his American Indian appearance.