Mariano Rivera blew his third save already this season after giving up a pair of singles and a Vladimir Guerrero sac fly in a 1-0 game against the Orioles on Wednesday.
The occasion may mark the start of the annual “what’s wrong with Mo?” columns in the New York press, though the obvious answer is nothing at all. Rivera has yet to surrender a homer and has given up a total of four runs in 20 innings. Unfortunately for the Yankees, those runs all resulted in blown saves.
With the three blown saves, Rivera has already exceeded his totals from 2008, when he was 39-for-40 saving games, and 2009, when he was 44-for-46. He was 33-for-38 last year, though he finished with a sub-2.00 ERA for the seventh time in eight years. His career high for blown saves is nine from his first year as a closer back in 1997.
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.