Cordero officially gets closing nod
"I haven't told him, and you guys are going to swamp him with it, but he has already said he is the closer. Chad Cordero, he's already said to you from day one of spring training that he is the closer, so that's not news. It's just putting the official stamp on it," Robinson told The Washington Times.
Cordero recorded three saves this spring. He allowed three runs on 10 hits and struck out nine in 9 2/3 innings.
"It feels good to actually know your role, and it's always good to know what role you're going to be in," Cordero told the paper. "It's good to know exactly when I'm going to go in. This spring I was throwing a lot fewer pitches per inning. Last year, I was throwing about 25 pitches per inning, and this year it's about 10. I wasn't walking many guys, and that's something I had trouble with last year."
The 33-year-old, four-time Gold Glove winner hit .236 with 13 homers and 47 RBI in 109 games for Colorado in 2004, but did not fit into the Rockies' plans for this season.
He was traded to Boston last week as part of a deal that sent reliever Byung-Hyun Kim to the Rockies. However, the Red Sox immediately designated Johnson for assignment and released him.
Tampa Bay had discussions with Colorado about a possible trade for Johnson during the offseason and jumped at the opportunity to finally get him.
"Charles has got a ton of experience," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said, adding that he thinks the addition of Johnson will help Tampa Bay's young pitchers. "There's no substitute for experience, especially behind the plate."
Johnson had a $9 million salary, but the Devil Rays will pay the minimum $316,000. The Rockies and Red Sox pay the remainder.
Cleveland Indians: Manager Eric Wedge said injured right fielder Juan Gonzalez (strained right hamstring) is still working out in Florida and a decision on his availability could be made by the middle of the month.
Gonzalez, who has missed 301 of a possible 486 games the past three seasons with a variety of injuries, was placed on the 15-day disabled list March 31.
Left-hander C.C. Sabathia, out with a sore side muscle, will make a rehab start April 7 with Double-A Akron and throw 65 pitches. He'll make another 80-pitch start April 12 and could rejoin the Indians for a start on April 17 against the Twins.
Benson was originally scheduled to pitch the third game of the season, but was moved back after developing soreness on the right side of his chest. It bothered him again when he threw in the bullpen on Sunday, prompting the Mets to give him time off.
New York got Benson from Pittsburgh in a trade last July. He signed a $22.5 million, three-year deal in the offseason. The Mets also added right-hander Pedro Martinez to the rotation for $53 million over four years.
Left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii took Benson's spot in the rotation, and will start Thursday against the Reds.
"Everything was realigned," Brown said before New York's workout at Yankee Stadium.
Brown was placed on the DL for the 12th time in his career Sunday with a flare-up of the injury that has plagued him the last few seasons. He came into camp healthy, but said he injured the back when he slipped on a rough mound in his start at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., on March 21 against Philadelphia.
Manager Joe Torre said Brown will take a couple of days off before he resumes throwing. He'll play catch first, then move to the mound.
"My guess will be Thursday, Friday or Saturday," Torre said. "I think right now we'll have to wait until he throws to see how he is."
Former Yankees pitcher dies at 90: Marius Russo, who pitched for four pennant-winning teams and two World Series champions, died March 26. He was 90.
A left-hander who pitched for the Yankees from 1939-43 and in 1946 after he returned from military service, Russo died from heart failure after battling various illnesses, his wife, Stasia, said.
The Brooklyn native was signed out of Long Island University. His best seasons were 1940 and 1941, when he won 14 games each year. He finished with a 45-34 record and a 3.13 ERA and was an All Star in 1941.
He picked up complete-game victories in the World Series in 1941 against the Brooklyn Dodgers and in 1943 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
He is remembered for hitting a line drive in Game 3 of the 1941 World Series that caromed high off the leg of Dodgers pitcher Freddie Fitzsimmons, breaking his knee. The Yankees then came from behind off Fitzsimmons' replacement, Hugh Casey, winning the game 2-1 behind Russo's four-hitter. The Yankees won the series in five games.
Russo pitched seven-hitter in the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 4 of the 1943 World Series, doubling and scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
The Mariners also announced that injury-plagued left-hander Ryan Anderson, a 6-foot-10 former No. 1 draft pick once compared to Randy Johnson, was released along with right-hander Rett Johnson.
The 21-year-old Lopez, who hit .232 in 57 major league games last season, is expected to miss four to six weeks. The Mariners optioned him to Triple-A Tacoma on March 26, after he hit .333 in 18 spring training games.
Lopez was hurt during workouts with Tacoma, which partly explains why the Mariners chose little-known Wilson Valdez as its opening day shortstop.
Veteran Pokey Reese, who joined Seattle as a free agent this winter, is on the 15-day disabled list with a sore throwing shoulder. Valdez is with his third team since last Wednesday, after being waived by the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets.
Seattle also passed over another shortstop prospect, Ramon Santiago, sending him to Tacoma after he hit .294 in 21 spring games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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