Wood's injury may be more serious than believed

Leave a comment

Kerry Wood was scratched from his scheduled appearance Saturday with a sore right lat muscle, but the Indians quickly announced Sunday that he was already back on track and would be able to throw a bullpen session today followed by game action Wednesday.
Unfortunately, those plans have changed. Wood did not throw a bullpen session today and manager Manny Acta seemed unsure about when the Indians’ closer would be ready to pitch again:

We’re going to take it easy with Kerry. The medical staff will put together a plan for him. We want to be careful. He’s our closer. He has plenty of time to get ready, and there’s no reason to rush him back out there.

Wood’s injury was initially dismissed as merely “spring training soreness” by the Indians, but obviously there’s something else going on at this point. As beat reporter Anthony Castrovince wrote as the lead to his MLB.com story: “It could be something, it could be nothing.”
All of which is why 24-year-old setup man and potential closer-in-waiting Chris Perez is one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks for AL-only leagues.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

Jason Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.