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June 1, 2011

Francisco Cordero Nails Down 300th Save

I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would mention Cincinnati Reds Francisco Cordero in the same sentence as the Baseball Hall of Fame.

But I just did.

You see, after closing the door against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday night, the righty nailed down his 300th career save…something only 21 other pitchers (including Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and, barely, Bruce Sutter) have accomplished.

Now, I bring all this up NOT to pimp Cordero for Cooperstown.

Far from it.

I bring it up to illustrate how spot on former Kansas City Royals closer Jeff Montgomery (he of 304 career saves) was when we talked back in October 2008.

“300 saves used to be the milestone mark when closers were two or three inning guys,” “Monty” said, “but 400 will be the new mark as most good closers will reach the 40 save per year mark even on mediocre teams.”

Only five closers have eclipsed the 400 mark…Trevor Hoffman (601), Mariano Rivera (572 and counting), Lee Smith (478), John Franco (424) and Billy Wagner (422) and, honestly, it could be a while until we see another hit the mark.

Hell, after Francisco Rodriguez (currently at 283) gets his 300th save later this season…it could be a while until we see someone get to 300.

Sure, sure, K-Rod’s teammate Jason Isringhausen is sitting pretty at 293 saves, but, c’mon…I'm more likely to get seven saves before he does.

Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan has 250…but injuries are keeping him off the field. And after Nathan, you’ve got Jose Valverde (204), Jonathan Papelbon (197) and Brian Fuentes (196) all climbing up the all-time saves ladder.

Which brings me back to what Montgomery said.

“300 saves used to be the milestone mark.” True. But I’ve gotta ask…is 400 the “new mark”?

What do you think?

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