The Minnesota Twins are doing all right at doing all right, resulting in an impressive (and unexpected) nine-game lead in the American League Central. Yet the Twins continue to eye potential upgrades. On Saturday, that meant signing one of baseball’s former top closers, Cody Allen, to a minor-league deal with an eye on getting him back on track.
Allen, 30, was Los Angeles Angels earlier in the month after a poor 25-game stint out west. In those appearances, he posted a 6.23 ERA and walked nearly eight batters per nine innings. As we explained earlier in the year, Allen’s issue is in part that batters were not compelled to swing at his fastball, leaving him as a one-pitch pony. Good curveball or not, it’s tough to succeed for long in the majors when that’s all you have to offer.by the
The Twins have done well under first-year pitching coach Wes Johnson in getting the most of their arms. Starters Jake Odorizzi and Martin Perez are part of why Minnesota is where it is, while the bullpen has been buoyed in part by the performances of Blake Parker, Ryne Harper, and Mike Morin. Parker and Morin, amusingly enough, are both former Angels.
We’ll see if the Twins can help Allen look the part of an effective big-league reliever again. Even if Allen fails to live up to his old standard, he could still be a useful piece down the stretch.