Astros lose Jed Lowrie, Jason Castro to DL

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Just in time for their rematch against Matt Cain, the Astros put two starters on the disabled list Sunday, Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro.

Lowrie, the Astros’ most productive hitter with 14 homers and 36 RBI this season, suffered a sprained ankle during Saturday’s game. Castro, who has a solid .254/.440/.379 line in 169 at-bats, is dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.

With both players out, the Astros will turn to Rule 5 pick Marwin Gonzalez at shortstop and veteran Chris Snyder behind the plate.

The Astros are facing Cain today for the first time since the Giants right-hander pitched a perfect game against them on June 13. He struck out 14 that night.

Angels sign Cody Allen to a one year, $8.5 million deal

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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. UPDATE: Per Rosenthal, the deal is done at one year, $8.5 million.

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.