Hamstring, not knee, forces Victor Martinez out of game

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Victor Martinez (and his many knee injuries) gave Tigers fans a scare when he exited today’s game clutching his left leg while running the bases, but the 38-year-old designated hitter has been diagnosed with a strained hamstring.

While not exactly good news that qualifies as positive news in that hamstring injuries heal in weeks rather than months and Martinez’s surgically repaired knee remains intact.

For now the Tigers are calling it a mild strain, but given Martinez’s age and overall health they figure to be pretty conservative with his recovery timetable even if things go well.

After a career-best 2014 season that saw him finish runner-up in the MVP voting and get a new four-year, $68 million contract Martinez struggled mightily last year, hitting .245 with 11 homers and a career-worst .667 OPS while dealing with knee problems throughout.

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.