This the first time in over a decade where the Reds are selling out games at the end of July. Where the Reds are a team looking to add the final piece to the puzzle before the trade deadline (even though they didn’t). I mean when can you remember the Reds being within a half game of the NL Central this late in the year? I think you would have to go back to 1999. It is safe to say that people in Cincinnati have not been this excited about baseball in some time.
And any team looking to make a run at the postseason must have a reliable closer. Just look at the Yankees with Mariano Rivera. A closer plays a part in normally around 70% of a team’s wins. Not to mention nearly all postseason wins. So they are essential to a team’s success. The ball in their hands at the end of a game can make or break a team’s season.
Francisco “Coco” Cordero, the Red’s current closer, has rapidly become a hated figure in the city of Cincinnati as of late. People have quickly jumped off-board the “Coco” Cordero ship. The Red’s heavy-set closer just does not seem to be able to cut the mustard for lack of a better term. And I will be straight with you, the numbers do not lie. “Coco” has become a “No No.”
Cordero is now 35 years old. He makes the 2nd highest salary on the entire 25 man squad, making well over 12 million. Ironically the man on the Reds who is making the highest salary this year is Aaron Harang. That could be a debate for another day. But lets delve into the man they call “Coco.
If the season ended today, the 4 representatives in the National League Playoffs would be the Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants. The Reds would sadly lose the division barely to the Cardinals. One thing all 4 of these teams have in common is a much more reliable closer than the Red’s Francisco Cordero.
A key for a closer is to not blow saves. Well Cordero has more blown saves than any of these other potential playoff teams’ closers, and has the 2nd most in the League (6). Cordero also has an ERA of 4.02. None of the closers for these 4 contending squads have an ERA of worse than 2.33. In addition, Cordero has thrown 40 strikeouts and 27 walks during the duration of the season. This is a 1.48 strikeout to walk ratio. These other 4 closers possess strikeout to walk ratios of 3.76 (Brian Wilson SF), 4.57 (Billy Wagner ATL), 3.41 (Heath Bell SD), and 4.17 (Ryan Franklin STL). These are just a few of the telling statistics that demonstrate why these other teams will be much more confident late in games come October than the Reds. Cordero has become a liability. A very expensive liability.
So would you rather have Brian Wilson (Giants), Billy Wagner (Braves), Heath Bell (Padres), Ryan Franklin (Cardinals), or Francisco Cordero (Reds)? I know that is a tough question, but I can tell you that Cordero would be your last choice of the 5. As I mentioned earlier, the numbers do not lie.
Is Isringhausen the answer? Either way, Coco has become a “No No.”
Sadly, we got 2 more years of this Cordero nonsense left to deal with, since he is in the 2nd year of 4, on one of the best contracts ever given to a relief pitcher.
Let’s hope Mr. Jocketty has a plan to fix this closer dilemma. We do not want to lose a shot at the playoffs due to lacking a closer that we can rely on.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.