Yankees shut Michael Pineda down due to inflammation in his upper back

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More bad news for the Yankees. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that the club has shut down starter Michael Pineda after an MRI showed inflammation in his upper back. The right-hander was scheduled to throw in a live spring training game on Sunday. The Yankees can now consider themselves lucky if they are able to get Pineda back before the All-Star break.

Pineda has been on the disabled list since May 6 with a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle. He made four starts this season, posting a 1.83 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He was ejected from his most recent start, on April 23 against the Red Sox, after he was caught with pine tar on his neck. Pineda was given a 10-game suspension for the violation.

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.