Cleveland Indians: Breaking down the Opening Day bullpen

Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Cody Allen

Cody Allen handled Andrew Miller’s 2016 addition in perfect fashion. He made it clear that he was all about helping the team, and would pitch whenever he was needed.

That is the kind of player fans want to cheer for, although it does help that Allen is a dominant reliever.

2017 will be Allen’s sixth year with the Indians, and he is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he had 32 saves in 67 appearances, striking out 87 batters in 68 innings.

And even though Miller is on the team, Allen still projects to be the team’s traditional closer throughout the 2017 season. Miller is more flexible as to when he can come in, yet Allen seems to thrive when he has the mindset of closing out a game.

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In 10 postseason appearances, he finished eight games, finishing with six saves. He serves as a great complement to Miller, who may be needed at what is considered the most important part of a game, while Allen can close it out.

Allen nearly had 100 strikeouts in 2015, and he will hopefully reach that mark once again this season. The added depth in the bullpen, and a strong offense, should allow for many games in which the team enters the end of the game with a lead, leaving a defeated opposing lineup to try to get past one of the better relievers in the American League.