Last night, Indians reliever Cody Allen’s year-long struggles continued as he blew a save against the cellar-dwelling Royals. Allen’s latest collapse on the mound, during which he gave up back-to-back homers to a pair of rookies, prompted Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer to address whether or not the newly-acquired Brad Hand ought to be given the full-time closer job. While Hoynes does more spitballing than actual answering of the question, he does quote manager Terry Francona at one point, who says that “I’ll sit down and talk to him again because we need him. We can’t run from Cody. We need him really bad to win. So we’ll visit a little bit.” From my perspective, Allen may not only be pitching himself out of his “closer” job, but also out of a potential qualifying offer at season’s end, which he seemed a near lock to warrant at the outset of the 2018 season. That’d be bad news for a small-market Cleveland ballclub that would surely like to be rewarded for his departure with a compensatory draft pick.
A couple of items from elsewhere around the league…
- 38-year-old Matt Holliday’s return to the Rockies became official last night, as he played left field against the Padres last night. After lingering on the free agent market all last winter in hopes of securing a major-league contract, Holliday recently joined the Rockies on a minor league pact and demolished Triple-A pitching en route to a call-up to help the MLB club, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post details in his latest piece. “I’m here to help the team in any way possible,” Holliday said of his return to the majors. “I’m just here to be part of the team and do everything I can to impact the team, as best I can.” The seven-time All-Star feels as though he’s in excellent shape, in part thanks to his tune-up in the minors. For his part, manager Bud Black is happy to have both Holliday’s playing ability and leadership in the fold as the team pushes for a playoff berth.
- The White Sox have opted to shut down one of their top pitching prospects for the season, James Fegan of The Athletic reports via Twitter. However, the decision isn’t related to any sort of injury. Rather, Dylan Cease has simply reached an innings threshold that the organization doesn’t wish to push him past. The 22-year-old right-hander has tossed 124 innings combined between Chicago’s High-A and Double-A affiliates, which exceeds his career high workload by about 30. Cease hasn’t faced much resistance in his ascension, posting a 1.72 ERA with Double-A Birmingham this season while racking up a whopping 78 strikeouts in just 52 1/3 innings pitched.