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OC Register: Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After Cody Allen gave up four more runs in his latest difficult outing, he said he knew if he didn’t improve the Angels were going to find someone else.

About 12 hours later, they did.

The Angels designated Allen for assignment Saturday morning, cutting their losses with their $8.5 million investment. Allen had a 6.26 ERA in 25 games, including allowing six runs in his last two outings.

“Carrying around the numbers I’ve been carrying around for a little bit, the organization has a responsibility to put the best product on the field and I just haven’t been that,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of really, really good young arms that are waiting in the wings and that give them some versatility and production.”

The Angels bullpen needed a fresh arm Saturday, and the only relievers with options were Ty Buttrey and Justin Anderson, both of whom have been more valuable this season than Allen.

Taylor Cole was recalled to take Allen’s spot.

“Not an easy decision,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “I know he’s not performed as well as he would have liked, but he was a tremendous teammate and a tremendous professional. It’s not easy giving good people bad news.”

Allen had a stretch of 12 innings in which he’d allowed two runs, but then he gave up a pair of homers in a game last week, following by a four-run performance on Friday night.

After that, Allen said: “Either I’m going to get better, or they’re going to find someone else who does. That’s the reality of the game.”

The next morning, he didn’t sound surprised at the news. He said he’s been trying to rediscover his mechanics ever since he got to the Angels, continuing a process that began in the middle of last season with the Cleveland Indians. It was complicated by a back injury that cost him some time in April.

“I felt like I had came out of the gates throwing the ball really, really well,” said Allen, who didn’t allow a run in his first five games. “Then, you know, went on the IL and that kind of paused things for a minute there. And then pretty much since I’ve come off the IL, it just hasn’t hasn’t been the same. But I’m extremely grateful for everything this organization has done for me in the short time that I’ve been here, you know. They’ve put forth a valiant, valiant effort, and there’s been a lot of people that have cared deeply about my success. And so that’s that’s greatly appreciated.”

Ausmus said Allen “worked his tail off” to try to solve his issues, but “nothing was sticking.”

Allen, 30, had been one of baseball’s most consistent closers from 2014-17 with the Indians, becoming that franchise’s all-time saves leader. He struggled last season, with declining fastball velocity and a curveball that didn’t work as had in the pasts.

The Indians allowed him to go and the Angels signed him in January, a move general manager Billy Eppler hoped would give them a closer to top off a bullpen with less experienced arms.

Clearly, it didn’t work, and Ausmus said he wasn’t quite sure what Allen needed to fix, but he hoped that he could figure it out.

“I hope he rediscovers something and is pitching somewhere else because he’s a good person and I’d like to see him continue his career,” Ausmus said.

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