Posted on June 15, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
It’s sometimes amazing how quickly the mighty can fall. Less than two years removed from his third consecutive 30-save season, Cody Allen finds himself out of a job. The Los Angeles cut ties with Allen on Saturday by designating him for assignment. The move comes the day after Allen allowed four runs in the 7th innings against the Rays while only recording two outs.
“It’s a tough decision, but unfortunately, we felt like it was one we had to make,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said of the decision to cut Allen loose. “He’s a professional. He worked his tail off. He cared, he wanted to get back where he was. Just nothing was sticking in terms of the work he did on the side carrying onto the field.”
Just a few years ago, Allen was serving as the closer for one of the best bullpens in baseball as a member of the Cleveland Indians. He was a vital part of the Indians reaching the World Series in 2016 and winning the AL Central each of the past three seasons. Despite a subpar 2018 campaign in which he posted a 4.70 ERA, the Angels took a chance on Allen, giving him a one-year contract worth $8.5 million.
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The Angels were hopeful that Allen could bounce back from a rough season and provide an answer at the back end of their bullpen. However, that’s not how things played out. Despite converting all four of his save opportunities early in the season, Allen soon began to struggle. He lost his job as closer and had a stint on the IL with a back strain. Even when he turned from the injury, things didn’t turn around for him. After Friday’s implosion, Allen now owns a 6.26 ERA over his 25 appearances with the Angels.
“Obviously this year is not the bounce-back season I was hoping for,” Allen said after Friday’s game. “The only thing I can do is just try and get better. Either I’m going to get better or they’re going to find someone else who does. That’s the reality of the game.”
Needless to say, the Angels chose the latter option. Even with more than half of that $8.5 million contract left to pay off, the team decided that they’re better off without Allen. After being designated for assignment, there’s a chance Allen will catch on with another team. He has enough of a track record for a team to take a chance on him. However, after his performance over the last year and a half, Allen has much to prove.
“I hope he rediscovers something and pitches somewhere else,” said Ausmus. “He’s a good person, and I’d like to see him continue his career.”
Meanwhile, the Angels will continue to try to solve their bullpen woes. The trio of Hansel Robles, Cam Bedrosian, and Ty Buttrey has been solid with Robles getting most of the save chances. But the Halos haven’t found much consistency elsewhere. Cutting ties with the struggling Allen will open up a spot on the roster to audition more bullpen candidates. Of course, even without Allen in the mix, there is no guarantee that things in the Los Angeles bullpen will improve.