Video: Stephen Piscotty singled in his first at bat after his mother’s death

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As we wrote the other day, Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty lost his mother to ALS over the weekend. Piscotty took a day off and will likely stay back in Oakland with his family when the A’s hit the road for the east coast later this week so that he can be on hand for his mother’s funeral, but he played in last night’s Astros-Athletics game.

Piscotty received a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd, and from his opponents in the Astros dugout, as he entered the batter’s box in the bottom of the second inning. It clearly choked him up.

And then he smacked a single into right-center.

A nice moment in a rough week for Piscotty.

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.