OAKLAND -- The Angels won't be making any more September callups past the five who were added to the club on Monday, and that means Chad Cordero's intriguing comeback attempt will not end in the Major Leagues in 2013.
Cordero, 31, made a name for himself as a closer for the Nationals, posting a 2.79 ERA and racking up 113 saves from 2005-07 and earning a spot in the 2005 All-Star Game. Then, shoulder surgery knocked him out for almost two years. Then, his 11-week-old daughter died in December 2010. Then, while struggling mentally, the Blue Jays released him in May 2011, prompting Cordero to spend most of the next couple of years as a retired father and husband.
But when he made an appearance at a Fullerton, Calif., scrimmage in early February, Cordero had shed about 40 pounds. And when Cordero's agent shared a cell-phone video of the outing with Jerry Dipoto, the Angels' general manager decided to give him a shot, signing him to a Minor League contract that essentially gave him a stage to pursue a comeback.
Cordero eventually earned an invitation to Spring Training, began the season at Class A Inland Empire, earned a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake two weeks later and finished his first pro season in two years with a 5.53 ERA in 58 games.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Cordero's name came up "various times" this season, but the big leagues will have to wait until at least 2014.
"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.
"The Pacific Coast League is not an easy league to pitch in, especially with Chad being a fly-ball pitcher and trying to get stuff back. 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, because he's worked really hard to do it."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.