Francisco Liriano was terrible for the Twins and White Sox last season and then lost out on a ton of guaranteed money with the Pirates when he broke his right arm trying to prank his kids on Christmas morning.
That all led to a whole lot of jokes at his expense and caused Liriano to miss the first month of the season, but now he’s healthy and looking extremely good.
Liriano shut out the Cubs for seven innings last night and is now 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 25/6 K/BB ratio in 18 innings for the Pirates.
He hasn’t faced any strong lineups yet through three starts, but it’s hard to argue with 25 strikeouts in 18 innings and as usual if Liriano shows any semblance of decent control he has the raw stuff to dominate.
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.