Chad Cordero saved 128 big-league games, 47 of them in a spectacular 2005 season, but hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors since July of 2008 - his career threatened by major shoulder surgery.
A right-hander who signed with Seattle last spring, rehabbed much of 2009 and appeared in 14 minor league games, Cordero is back with the Mariners this spring. Today, he'll pitch an inning in the second of two intrasquad games.
"I'm pumped, because I feel so good," Cordero said. "My arm slot is back, and in the bullpen my command is back. Now I have to see what happens when I face a hitter."
Cordero is 27, and his success was never the result of velocity - he rarely hit 90 mph. What he did was put his average fastball precisely where he wanted it, and let hitters try to do something with it.
In 305 big-league appearances, Cordero's earned run average is 2.78. If he can regain his command, the Mariners bullpen depth would improve dramatically.
What the Mariners need from Cordero will probably require him to start the season in Class AAA Tacoma. Since he won't be closing, and the Mariners have setup men Brandon League and Mark Lowe, Cordero needs to be able to pitch multiple innings.
Durability will be an issue, but his road back to the big leagues could take a small step today, and another on Friday when he's scheduled to throw an inning in a Cactus League game.