Farm Fresh: Josmar Cordero goes from coach to player

Cordero 593588By Jon Weisman

A few months back, we had a story on Dodger bullpen catcher Steve Cilladi and his baseball journey, which included appearing in exactly one game for Triple-A Albuquerque in each of his final two years as a player.

That resonated Monday when, in the 135th game of the season for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Josmar Cordero played for this first time in 2016.

Cordero, who turns 25 September 10, has been in the Dodger organization since 2010, when he signed as an 18-year-old out of Venezuela. He played in the Dominican Summer League for his first three years, then Rookie League ball in Arizona in 2013.

In 2014, he got his most action with 103 games at Single-A Great Lakes, in which he hit 11 homers and stole 10 bases with a .678 OPS. Last year, he had a .785 OPS with the Loons (including a 4 for 5 game in which he doubled and homered) on June 12, when he was moved up to High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

But this year, Cordero spent the season in Triple-A, coaching first base and catching in the bullpen. He was put on the active roster when, for example, Austin Barnes was called up to Los Angeles in June and July, and Oklahoma City needed a temporary second-stringer.

Most recently, Cordero was activated August 27, and according to Oklahoma City director of media relations and broacasting Alex Freedman, he might have been needed to pitch at some point.

That didn’t happen, but on the day after Oklahoma City clinched its division title, manager Bill Haselman made the decision to get Cordero in a game. He went 0 for 4, but for one more year, his career continued.

Jacob Unruh of the Oklahoman has more:

“I really wanted to get him in there after we clinched,” OKC manager Bill Haselman said. “I’m glad he was still active. I think he deserved to get in there and at least play one more game in his career here.”

Cordero mainly coached first base the past five months and learned from his teammates what it means to be a coach. … Seeing the first pitch Monday night refueled his desire to remain a player.

“I still have that passion to be a player,” Cordero said (via translator Jose De Leon). “But if anybody gives me a chance to be a coach I’ll do it.”

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