Cleveland Indians unchain closer Cody Allen so he can prepare for regular season

 CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians have decided to unchainCody Allen this spring. It's not like they're putting desert communities west of Phoenix in danger. He's not Frankenstein locked in a castle laboratory. Nor is he a Zombie extra from the set of the Walking Dead. Allen is just a pitcher who wants to pitch. The Indians tried to protect him andset up man Bryan Shaw last spring training. They looked at their production from 2013 and 2014 and saw an operating room in their immediate future. Allen made 153 appearances in 2013 and 2014, Shaw 150. "I worry about them," said manager Terry Francona. So the Indians tapped the brakes on Allen and Shaw. Shaw struggled through a rocky spring, but Allen sailed. He was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in seven appearances not counting his work in minor league games. Come April and the real season http://www.indiansfanshop.com/10-Indians_Francisco_Lindor_Jersey, Shaw continued on his merry way, but things skidded off the tracks for Allen. The Tribe's closer went 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA with four saves in five chances. He allowed nine runs on 13 hits and the opposition hit .409 against him. Cody Allen blows 3-0 lead in 9th to Chicago In one forgettable night at U.S. Cellular Field, Allen entered the ninth with a 3-0 lead, struck out the first man he faced and then allowed six hits and a walk as the White Sox rallied for a 4-3 victory. The Indians ended April at 7-14. They spent the rest of the year playing from behind. Terry Francona trusts closer Cody Allen Allen's lack of work last spring was the first subject Francona broached in their meeting before the start of camp. "Tito said when we had our meeting, 'Do you want to throw more than you did last year? Do you feel like throwing less hurt you a little bit?'" said Allen. "As spring goes on, we'll talk every other day. If we feel I'm ready at X amount of innings and we planned on throwing Y amount of innings, we can dial it down because I'm good to go." Allen rebounded from April with seven saves and a 2.35 ERA in May. In June, he didn't allow a run in 10 2/3 innings. He finished the season at 2-5 with a 2.99 ERA and 34 saves in 38 chances. Allen struck out 99 and walked 25 in 69 1/3 innings. As for April, Allen has few theories. Overall, the Indians stunk in the season's first month. That can ruin the good vibe in a clubhouse quicker than facing Chris Sale. "I'm not sure if it had anything to do with me pitching less in spring training," said Allen. "I guess we'll find out. "It could have been that my workload was a little lighter or it could have been that I just wasn't very good. Or maybe I had a bad month and it just happened to be the first month of the season http://www.indiansfanshop.com/15-Indians_Michael_Brantley_Jersey." Allen doesn't dance on the mound. He throws a 95 mph fastball and a spiked curveball that his twin brother, Chad, showed him in 2010 when they were in college. Last season he finished second in the AL among relievers with 99 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings Joe Carter Jersey. For the season he averaged 12.85 strikeouts per nine innings, the most in franchise history for a reliever with at least 65 innings in a season. Allen can think what he wants, but in Francona's mind not letting Cody be Cody last spring hurt him. "It was our fault," Francona told reporters last month. "We talked to him a bunch about slowing down at the beginning (of camp) and, mentally, I don't think he was quite where he wanted to be when the season started. And that's our fault -- my fault. He's now pitched three years in the major leagues with pretty heavy use, and he's shown that he can handle it. He's in great shape, so we just said, 'Hey, help us get you ready.'" Allen appreciates Francona's concern. He also appreciates that he's given him the freedom to get as much work on the mound as he needs.

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