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Article: Twins Sign RHP Cody Allen (Minor League Deal)

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#21 Parker Hageman

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:29 PM

My quick and dirty drive-by on Allen is that the velocity drop is a bit of a concern but what jumps out is how both his fastball and curveball have been ineffective.

 

So I went to look at StatCast's data and found that Allen has had significant issues tunneling his pitches in 2019.

 

Here are two Cody Allen outings versus the Twins, the first from 2017 and the second from this year. In 2017 his recognition point -- the point where hitters decipher the pitch type -- and the commit point -- where they swing -- have a tight cluster between his two pitches. It's difficult to distinguish the fastball versus the curve. This season however, after tinkering with his mechanics in spring training, it resulted in the two pitches being able to be recognized easier. The knuckle curve now tunnels through a higher spot than the fastball. Many teams now have those types of reports waiting for hitters (i.e. if you see the ball coming from this window, it's a X). 

 

SpNkXPt.gif

 

 

Here it is at a glance:

 

Allen.png

 

Allen, despite the velocity in the low-90s now, still has a very high spin rate fastball -- one that would be the highest on the Twins' staff. that can play. Interestingly, perhaps because of his mechanics tinker or maybe because of the Angels direction, Allen did not use that fastball up in the zone as much as he did in his Indians days. 

 

The Twins will attempt to reign all this in. Unlike the Angels, they have a robust analytics team, coaching staff and now have shown they are effective at using both. 

 

I don't know if Allen will be able to get to where he needs to be but if the Twins can tweak him, he could be a very good arm in the bullpen down the stretch. Time will tell. 

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#22 MNT1996

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:38 PM

This better not be the front office's only move to try and better the bullpen, but it probably will be given their history.

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#23 by jiminy

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 10:33 PM

I love it. If anyone can spot and correct a glass it's this coaching staff. I also like that this year is such an anomaly for him. He's never been this bad or walked this many people before. In his case, regression to the mean would be great!

#24 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:18 AM

Unlike the Angels, they (the Twins) have a robust analytics team, coaching staff and now have shown they are effective at using both.

 

How long have we waited to believe that sentence to be a true statement?

 

New guys deserve a lot of kudos, and so does the Pohlad family for making the moves after the "total system failure" of starting the 2016(?) season with 9 straight losses and ending up with the worst record in baseball.

 

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#25 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:54 AM

Hopefully Allen returns soon and provides a well needed boost to our bullpen, but I definitely wouldn’t try and rush him back to the big leagues, because the most important thing at the moment for Allen (and his career) is to get himself right, even if that means spending the rest of the regular season in the minor leagues (or Fort Myers) and returning on a 1 year deal for the 2020 season.

Fixing Allen will be no small task for the organization, and doing so will take some time and effort, so we’ll have to be patient. In the meantime, the FO must continue pursuing bullpen help, although from now on, we should only be targeting proven arms like Smith, Doolittle, Vasquez, and Iglesias, instead of guys like Krol, Hutchinson, and Allen.

#26 Shaitan

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:15 AM

I think he's in toast but why not? It's a minor league deal. Even if they call him up, it's hard to imagine a worse performance out of the bottom-ranking bullpen arm at this point.


#27 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:16 AM

I would rather that he rest his back for a couple weeks and then go start pitching in AAA.


#28 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:32 AM

 

Well if they wanted a dude with a 6.50 era in the bull pen they could have kept Reed?

 

 

Yes. That's it. They wanted a dude with a 6.50 era in the bullpen. Were afraid Reed might get better. No chance of that with this dude.


#29 birdwatcher

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:37 AM

 

You know, I guess after thinking about it, yeah it's a no lose situation, stick him in the minors and see if he can find something? If he doesn't nothing is lost, if he does, everything is gained. I think I have been thinking along the same lines with Ryan Madson, he could come in and be really tough for a couple of months at the end of the season? He has been just two years ago and he pitched in the world series last year so he'd be another one I'd try to bring in, stick him in Rochester for 2 - 3 weeks and see if he can regain some magic?

 

Yes.


#30 Sam Morley

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 10:15 AM

The risk is that he stinks and that he costs 2, 3, or 4... games before the Twins move on. Maybe the Twins can afford that. Maybe it's worth the risk; it probably is. But there is definitely a risk.


#31 lukeduke1980

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 11:37 AM

As long as we aren't counting on him to be regular high leverage. Maybe he'll earn those spots and move parker down a notch. If he doesn't have it, fine, a good flier to take before giving up any prospects in a trade.

#32 drivlikejehu

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 11:47 AM

 

The risk is that he stinks and that he costs 2, 3, or 4... games before the Twins move on. Maybe the Twins can afford that. Maybe it's worth the risk; it probably is. But there is definitely a risk.

 

How can he cost the Twins games from AAA?

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#33 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:31 PM

The risk is that he stinks and that he costs 2, 3, or 4... games before the Twins move on. Maybe the Twins can afford that. Maybe it's worth the risk; it probably is. But there is definitely a risk.


I doubt they'd call him up if they haven't fixed his issues.

#34 Sam Morley

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 09:50 AM

 

I doubt they'd call him up if they haven't fixed his issues.

 

How can he cost the Twins games from AAA?

 

Hypothetical Scenario:

 

He appears to pitch great at AAA. He gets called up. He stinks and costs the Twins games. 

 

Hypothetical Scenario 2:

 

He doesn't even pitch well at AAA. He gets called up anyway because of cognitive dissonance. He stinks and costs the Twins games.

 

Hypothetical Scenario 3:

 

He pitches great at AAA. He gets called up. He pitches fine, maybe even well, for a while. The FO thinks the bullpen problems are solved and don't acquire an actually good relief pitcher. After it's too late to do anything about, maybe in the postseason even, he stinks and costs the Twins games and maybe even the season. 

 

Those are three realistic scenarios. I'm not saying they are likely. I'm not saying I think it was a bad signing. People are saying there is no risk. I'm pointing out that there is. The risk is that he performs badly and costs games and takes the roster spot of someone who might've performed well.

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#35 Ruven

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 03:19 PM

Best case scenario is Twins help him repair his mechanics (whatever is making it easier to hit his pitches, yo) and recover in the way of setup or co-closer that which was lost when Presley was traded away. That would be best case.

#36 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 04:45 PM

Hypothetical Scenario:

He appears to pitch great at AAA. He gets called up. He stinks and costs the Twins games.

Hypothetical Scenario 2:

He doesn't even pitch well at AAA. He gets called up anyway because of cognitive dissonance. He stinks and costs the Twins games.

Hypothetical Scenario 3:

He pitches great at AAA. He gets called up. He pitches fine, maybe even well, for a while. The FO thinks the bullpen problems are solved and don't acquire an actually good relief pitcher. After it's too late to do anything about, maybe in the postseason even, he stinks and costs the Twins games and maybe even the season.

Those are three realistic scenarios. I'm not saying they are likely. I'm not saying I think it was a bad signing. People are saying there is no risk. I'm pointing out that there is. The risk is that he performs badly and costs games and takes the roster spot of someone who might've performed well.


I'm not sure what #1 even means. "Appears"? The Twins will have eyes on him, and all the analytics. They'll know if he's pitching well or not. We might have to rely on appearance, but not them.

As for #2, I just can't see them calling him up if he's not fixed. You can disagree, of course, but I disagree that this is even a possibility.

And #3 seems quite far fetched. The FO isn't going to stand pat. They are going to acquire legitimate quality bullpen pieces before the deadline. They have the payroll flexibility, prospect capital, and a clear need.

#37 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 04:24 AM

20BBs in 23IP is bad.
Velocity drop is bad.
29Ks is good.
(High fastball spin rate good, poor tunneling bad; thanks Parker!)
Track record, albeit not too recent, is good.
That the Twins pitching coaches want to get a chance to work with him, is good.

Seems fairly low risk, decently high possible reward.

Worth a shot.
Hope it works!

#38 Sam Morley

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:39 AM

 

I'm not sure what #1 even means. "Appears"? The Twins will have eyes on him, and all the analytics. They'll know if he's pitching well or not. We might have to rely on appearance, but not them.

As for #2, I just can't see them calling him up if he's not fixed. You can disagree, of course, but I disagree that this is even a possibility.

And #3 seems quite far fetched. The FO isn't going to stand pat. They are going to acquire legitimate quality bullpen pieces before the deadline. They have the payroll flexibility, prospect capital, and a clear need.

 

I meant by "appears" is that he pitches well enough by combination of stuff and experience to get out AAA hitters and put up good stats. He could be good enough to get AAA hitter out but not good enough to get MLB hitters out. 

 

I hope you're right. You probably are. I still don't think any of the scenarios are implausible, maybe unlikely, but not out of the question or even without precedent. 

 

It seems possible to me, that whether or not he is "fixed" (which is just a muddy a term in this context as "appears" was in mine) he will be given an opportunity because of his past success and because of his relationship with Falvey in Cleveland, not to mention the state/performance of the current bullpen.

 

Those are good reasons. It seems worth the risk to me. It is not without risk. 


#39 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:20 AM

 

My quick and dirty drive-by on Allen is that the velocity drop is a bit of a concern but what jumps out is how both his fastball and curveball have been ineffective.

 

So I went to look at StatCast's data and found that Allen has had significant issues tunneling his pitches in 2019.

 

Here are two Cody Allen outings versus the Twins, the first from 2017 and the second from this year. In 2017 his recognition point -- the point where hitters decipher the pitch type -- and the commit point -- where they swing -- have a tight cluster between his two pitches. It's difficult to distinguish the fastball versus the curve. This season however, after tinkering with his mechanics in spring training, it resulted in the two pitches being able to be recognized easier. The knuckle curve now tunnels through a higher spot than the fastball. Many teams now have those types of reports waiting for hitters (i.e. if you see the ball coming from this window, it's a X). 

 

SpNkXPt.gif

 

 

Here it is at a glance:

 

attachicon.gifAllen.png

 

Allen, despite the velocity in the low-90s now, still has a very high spin rate fastball -- one that would be the highest on the Twins' staff. that can play. Interestingly, perhaps because of his mechanics tinker or maybe because of the Angels direction, Allen did not use that fastball up in the zone as much as he did in his Indians days. 

 

The Twins will attempt to reign all this in. Unlike the Angels, they have a robust analytics team, coaching staff and now have shown they are effective at using both. 

 

I don't know if Allen will be able to get to where he needs to be but if the Twins can tweak him, he could be a very good arm in the bullpen down the stretch. Time will tell. 

 

I might think this would make for a good article all on it's own. For me, Allen went from a "Meh" to a "You have me full attention" with another great Parker Hageman deep dive.




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