Out since Opening Day, Ryan Ludwick is ready for rehab

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Ryan Ludwick has been on the disabled list since separating his shoulder on Opening Day, but the Reds outfielder is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he’s been hitting for two weeks and began taking batting practice with the Reds a few days ago, but according to Ludwick “it’s obviously going to be a longer rehab assignment.”

He’ll get a maximum of 20 days to rehab, although that clock can be restarted at any time if there’s a setback or a new injury. Either way, it sounds like early August is probably the targeted return date right now.

Ludwick hit .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS in 125 games last season, re-signing with the Reds on a two-year, $15 million deal. In his absence Cincinnati’s left fielders have hit a combined .245 with nine homers and a .700 OPS in 98 games.

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.