Associated Press

Nationals designate Shawn Kelley for assignment over mound tantrum

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You’d think last night would be an unequivocally wonderful one for the Nationals, but at least one player — reliever Shawn Kelley — wasn’t feeling good about it.

Kelley was brought into the Nationals game against the Mets with a 25-1 lead and was asked to mop things up in the ninth inning. He gave up a double and a single right off, then allowed a run to score on a fielder’s choice. Next up was Austin Jackson who hit a two-run homer. With a 25-4 lead the game was not exactly in jeopardy in that situation, but Kelley acted as if the world was ending: he spiked his glove into the dirt and glared into the dugout, perhaps at manager Dave Martinez, perhaps because he was mad he drew mopup duty and saw his ERA climb in a meaningless situation, perhaps because he was simply frustrated for sucking eggs.

Either way, it didn’t go over well with the Nationals. They released him this morning. General Manager Mike Rizzo:

“I thought that the act that he portrayed on the field last night was disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey, the organization, specifically Davey Martinez. You’re either in or you’re in the way, and I thought he was in the way . . .that’s something that you don’t come back from. It was a disrespectful act, and I thought it warranted him leaving the team. I didn’t see how he could face the rest of his teammates and the coaching staff and the manager again after such a selfish act in a 25-1 game.”

Between that and the trade of Brandon Kintzler, allegedly for snitchin’ to the press, Nats relievers best be on their best behavior. Mike Rizzo may send you to Siberia or something if you get outta line.

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.