Six MLB relief pitchers with a lot to prove in 2019

Six MLB relief pitchers with a lot to prove in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB relief pitchers with a lot to prove in 2019

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Oct 5, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) delivers a pitch during the sixth inning in game one of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Allen, Los Angeles Angels

Cody Allen is taking his streak of five straight years with at least 20 saves out west to be the Angels’ newest closer. There’s no doubt he hoped his trip into free agency turned into more than a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $8.5 million, though.

Between 2014 and 2017, Allen was one of the Cleveland Indians’ most consistent relievers. He accumulated 229.2 innings during this time, pitching to a 2.74 ERA, 2.68 SIERA, 33.1% strikeout rate, and 8.9% walk rate while racking up 6.3 fWAR. But in his final year before hitting the open market, he struggled to a 4.70 ERA, 3.77 SIERA, 27.7% strikeout rate, and 11.4% walk rate in 67 innings. This performance was worth exactly 0.0 fWAR.

Similar to the relievers we’ve already touched upon, Allen dealt with a drop in soft-hit rate and rise in hard-hit rate. However, the most noticeable change occurred with his curveball. Check out the year-by-year progression of this pitch in strikeout rate, OPS, and wRC+.

For a two-pitch hurler that relies heavily on his curveball, it’ll be vital for Allen to get this pitch back on track in 2019 with Los Angeles.

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