Yadier Molina and Mitchell Boggs got crossed up a pitch last night, with the reliever throwing a fastball when the catcher was expecting a slider.
The end result was Molina taking a mid-90s fastball off his hand, which caused the always tough catcher to leave the game, but according to manager Mike Matheny an X-ray taken immediately afterward came back “clean.”
Matheny told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Molina will probably be examined further, but the fact that the Cardinals don’t plan to add another catcher to the roster along with little-used backup Tony Cruz is a good sign for now.
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.