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04/27/08 2:55 PM ET

Cordero honing his control

Closer adjusting to reduced velocity due to tendinitis

WASHINGTON -- If there's a positive to Nationals reliever Chad Cordero having tendinitis and a weak right arm, it's that the injury has forced him to have better location.

When he was at his best in 2005 and '06, throwing 89 to 91 mph, Cordero would often start by throwing a ball to the opposing hitters. There were times when those hitters got ahead 3-1 in the count.

Now, Cordero is working ahead of the hitters and has yet to give up a run in four innings this season. His pitches are being clocked clocked in the low-70s to the mid-80s.

"I can't afford to fall behind now," Cordero said. "Since my velocity isn't where I want it to be, I have to keep my pitches down or keep my pitches away. So I can't really afford to fall behind. I have to go right after the guys."

Manager Manny Acta said Cordero would get his closer's job back after his next outing.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.