Cody Allen has proven to be one of the more stable high-leverage relievers in the game, but he's not without flaws. He struck out a third of the batters he faced in 2016, but also walked another 10 percent and allowed a home run on one out of every six flyballs put into play. Historically, he has been split neutral, but in 2016, lefties did get to him (.214/.295/.382) while righties went up there just hoping to put something safely into play (.136/.230/.270). Allen has been very durable for a reliever the past four seasons, gets strikeouts in bunches and continues to post strong ratios despite a walk rate on the high side. The positives outweigh the negatives, but keep that mind that he may have to continue splitting save chances with Andrew Miller as manager Terry Francona mixes and matches late in games.
Allen completed a simulated game Thursday morning with no issues, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. The Indians' closer has yet to appear in a game this spring as the team eases him into action. With an extra week of spring training due to the World Baseball Classic, Allen will have plenty of time to log Cactus League innings. He's penciled in as the Tribe's closer this season while Andrew Miller continues to fill the setup role.
Allen will remain the closer for Cleveland this year as Andrew Miller returns to the set-up role, Chris Assenheimer of The Chronicle-Telegram reports. Manager Terry Francona said he still likes the idea of having Allen as the end point in the bullpen. Hence, despite the luxury of having Andrew Miller for a full season, it appears there won't be any changes from the order that won the AL pennant last year. Allen converted 32 saves in 35 opportunities in 2016 and proved deadly against right-handed hitters, compiling a .139 BAA. With Miller in front of him to protect the lead, expect continued success from the Indians' closer.
Allen and the Indians avoided arbitration Friday with a $7.35 million deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports. Allen logged yet another excellent season as the Indians' closer in 2016, posting 32 saves, a 2.51 ERA, and 87 strikeouts in 68 innings. He was rewarded with a raise of more than $3 million, putting him well into the realm of closer money. He might see a downtick in saves now that Cleveland has Andrew Miller for a full year, but that doesn't mean he should be any less effective on the mound.
Allen struck out two in a clean ninth for his 26th save of the season on Thursday against the Astros. Thursday marked Allen's second save in as many days, the first time he's closed the door in back-to-back days since late June. Since the start of September, Allen has allowed just one hit while notching six strikeouts over four innings en route to a win and two saves. The right-hander hasn't given up a run in 13 of his last 14 appearances.
Allen walked two and struck out two while notching his 24th save of the season in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays. After a complete blowup in his last outing, which was only his third blown save of the season, Allen barely held on to secure the 3-2 victory Sunday. After striking out the first two hitters of the inning, the right-hander issued two walks, putting the tying and winning runs on base, before getting the final out on a well-hit liner to right. Allen's 0-2 record and 3.95 ERA since the All-Star break is a bit deceptive, as he also owns a very strong .170 BAA and 0.95 ERA over 15 second-half games.