Thank goodness: another beer-themed baseball team

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We have the Milwaukee Brewers. Now, in Oregon, we have the “Hillsboro Hops,” short-season A-ball affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks:

“The name ‘Hops’ recognizes Hillsboro’s proud agricultural heritage and the fact that Oregon is the second largest hop producing state in the United States,” said K.L. Wombacher, General Manager of the Hillsboro Hops. “Hops is also a term used regularly in baseball –- short hop, bad hop, crow hop. We feel ‘Hops’ encompasses several different components we wanted to include in our team name.”

As Portland’s own Rob Neyer noted over at SB Nation, hops also has a heck of a lot to do with beer, and folks in Portland love their beer. And a great logo too:

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It’s nice to see the pro-beer agenda being pushed here. In an age where Bernie Brewer no longer slides into a beer stein following homers, we need to bring some more sudsy goodness back to the game.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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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.

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.