The Angels on Saturday designated right-handed reliever Cody Allen for assignment, which means they’ll have a few days to decide whether to trade or release Allen or persuade him to accept an outright assignment to the minors. Very likely, he’ll be released.
Allen, as you might have guess, has struggled badly this season:
In terms of FIP, which is fielding-independent pitching (i.e., what a pitcher’s ERA should be given average luck and defensive support), Allen checks in with a grisly mark of 8.33. That largely flows from the fact that he’s walked 20 batters, all unintentionally, in just 23 innings this season and allowed nine home runs over that same span. Along the way, he’s lost a good bit of fastball velocity.
Given those numbers, it’s not surprising that Allen is being given the heave-ho. What is surprising is that Allen finds himself in such a spot so soon after being a pretty darn good closer for several seasons. Allen, who’s still 30 years of age, from 2014-17 compiled 120 saves for the Indians while pitching to a 165 with 369 strikeouts in 274 1/3 innings. He was the guy getting the final outs for one of the best teams in baseball, and he did a darn good job in the role.
In his final season in Cleveland Allen lost his control, but the Angels still inked him to an $8.5 million pact for this season. Obviously, Allen’s 2018 struggles were the onset of deep collapse rather than an aberration. Given his track record some team may take a flyer on Allen, but the velo loss in tandem with his no longer being able to throw his curve for strikes mean Allen may be done pitching at the highest level. Not so long ago, that seemed fairly unthinkable.