The Los Angeles Angels signed 30-year-old relief pitcher Cody Allen to a one-year, $8.5 million deal. The former Cleveland Indian is coming off of his worst year in the majors with a 4.70 ERA. Despite a down year, the Angels hope Allen can return to his consistently dominant form and become the anchor to a young bullpen.

Before last season, Allen ranked as one of the better back-end relievers in the game. Since his first full season in 2013, Allen ranks in the top-15 among relievers in saves, K/9 and WAR. In those years, Allen always pitched 67 or more innings, reached 30 or more saves three times and never had an ERA above 3.00.

Saves ERA FIP K/9 WAR
 

Cody Allen (2013-17)

 

11th (122)

 

23rd  (2.59)

 

19th (2.86)

 

15th (11.93)

 

10th (7.4)

 

His pedigree extends into the postseason, where Allen helped the Indians reach a World Series in 2016. Before last postseason, where he gave up six runs in one inning, Allen had a career postseason ERA of 0.49. While his team has struggled since their World Series run, the right-handed reliever has been a model of consistency.

What then was the cause of a down year for 30-year-old reliever? It seems there are a few reasons for his terrible 2018 campaign. One is some awful outings. In three games, Allen gave up 13 earned runs over 1 and 2/3 innings. If you take those outings out of his ERA, his total ERA drops from 4.70 to 3.04.

Another reason for the rise in ERA is his declining velocity. Since 2014, Allen’s fastball velocity has steadily dropped from 96.4 mph in 2014, to 94.0 mph in 2018. Because of the dip in velocity, Allen has relied more on his breaking ball, which has also dropped from 86.9 mph in 2014, to 83.8 mph in 2018. Below is Allen leaving his breaking ball up for a walk-off single by Miguel Andujar.

The velocity drop hadn’t effected Allen much until the past season. While not a completely accurate statistic, the pitch type linear weight per 100 pitches (wFB/C and wCU/C) generally show how effective a pitch is. From 2014-2017, Allen’s wCU/C, representing his breaking balls, has been positive, 1.90. However in 2018, his wCU/C dropped into -0.34.

Allen’s 2018 was likely a fluke bad season. While he may not become the dominant back-end reliever he once was, he should add positive innings to bullpen on the rise. With only one year on his contract and a lot to prove, don’t be surprised to see a resurgent Cody Allen dominating the late innings for the Angels.

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Content Creator at Armchair Anaheim Angels , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Ryan Kanne, and I am a journalism major at Emerson College. I am a born Chicago sports fan but grew up in Chino Hills, California. No, I don’t know the Ball brothers, but I did go to their rival high school. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls as well as the Los Angeles Angels, and Clippers, which means I’m very used to disappointment. I grew up in a sports heavy family, evident by me going to a baseball-themed elementary school and being named after a Cubs Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg. Talk to me about the MLB or NFL and I won’t be quiet for a while
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Content Creator at Armchair Anaheim Angels , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Ryan Kanne, and I am a journalism major at Emerson College. I am a born Chicago sports fan but grew up in Chino Hills, California. No, I don’t know the Ball brothers, but I did go to their rival high school. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls as well as the Los Angeles Angels, and Clippers, which means I’m very used to disappointment. I grew up in a sports heavy family, evident by me going to a baseball-themed elementary school and being named after a Cubs Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg. Talk to me about the MLB or NFL and I won’t be quiet for a while
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