Tony Watson Headshot

Watson struck out one batter in a scoreless inning against the Phillies on Sunday, notching his 10th save of the season and his second in as many days.

Added Yesterday 12:52 pm (EST)
Manager Clint Hurdle doesn't like to use his relievers three straight days, so there's a chance Watson could rest Monday in Atlanta. Felipe Rivero would likely close in the event Watson can't go. That said, Watson threw only a combined 18 pitches Saturday and Sunday, so there's a chance he could pitch if needed. The lefty's recent pitching has been impressive, if only because he threw his first two clean innings of the season over the weekend. He recently hired agent Scott Boras, signaling that his time in Pittsburgh may well be nearing its end.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson pitched a perfect inning to record his ninth save of the year Saturday against the Phillies.

Added 05/20/17 7:04 pm (EST)
Watson had a low-stress situation, as he was protecting a three-run lead, and he retired the Phillies in order. He's now 9-of-10 in save opportunities, and with a 2.89 ERA, he continues to be a solid fantasy option at closer.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson struck out two but gave up a run on three hits in 1.1 innings to blow his first save of the season in Tuesday's extra-inning loss to the Dodgers.

Added 05/10/17 8:19 am (EST)
He got the final out of the eighth inning with runners on second and third to snuff out one Dodgers threat, but then allowed three straight singles to Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger in the ninth to bring home the tying run. Watson still has a 1.32 ERA on the season but his 1.39 WHIP and 11:5 K:BB in 13.2 innings are far from elite, and a correction could be coming.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson gave up a hit over 1.1 scoreless innings Wednesday to pick up his seventh save of the season in a 6-5 win over the Cubs.

Added 04/27/17 7:13 am (EST)
After Daniel Hudson served up a two-run shot to Anthony Rizzo in the eighth inning to close the gap to one run, Watson came in to finish the inning. The lefty ran into some danger of his own in the ninth, but got a double play out of Albert Almora with runners on first and second to seal the victory. Watson's 0.96 ERA appears elite, but his 5:5 K:BB through 9.1 innings is not up to his usual standards and could be a sign of trouble down the road.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson allowed a hit and a walk while striking out a batter during a scoreless ninth inning to record his sixth save of the season Sunday against the Yankees.

Added 04/24/17 9:18 am (EST)
While a few more strikeouts would be nice (5.6 K/9), Watson sports a 1.13 ERA and is second in the National League in saves. There are some underlying concerns, though. Watson's 1.63 WHIP and 6.27 FIP suggest the lefty has likely been a little fortunate to start the campaign. Still, he's probably tightened his grip on the closing gig by converting all six of his save opportunities.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson pitched a scoreless ninth inning while allowing two hits to earn his fifth save Friday against the Yankees.

Added 04/21/17 10:55 pm (EST)
Watson was in a fairly low-pressure situation, as the Pirates gave him the ball with a three-run lead, and although he gave up a pair of hits, he had little trouble closing out the contest. He's converted each of his five save opportunities the season, and he's only allowed a single run in seven outings, as he remains a solid fantasy option in the closer role.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson registered his fourth save of the year Saturday, allowing one run on one hit and a walk in one inning against the Cubs.

Added 04/15/17 6:58 pm (EST)
Watson surrendered a Kris Bryant homer and then put the tying run on base with a walk, but he eventually got the job done. Given that he's retired the side in order in only five of his 24 saves, owners might want to buckle their seats for a roller-coaster ride. Watson is in his final season before free agency, making him a likely trade candidate. In the meantime, Pittsburgh will likely continue counting on him.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson escaped a bases-loaded jam without allowing a run to record his third save of the season in Friday's 4-2 win over the Cubs.

Added 04/14/17 6:20 pm (EST)
While the box score indicates a relatively tidy outing for Watson, it was actually much more nerve-wracking than that. He got the first two batters he faced but proceeded to load the bases on a walk, an error by David Freese and a hit batsman. Watson then got Ben Zobrist to ground out to end the game, avoiding what could have been a troublesome afternoon. He has not allowed a run through five appearances and is now a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson notched his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning Friday against the Braves.

Added 04/07/17 5:40 pm (EST)
Watson was able to protect a one-run lead without allowing a baserunner. Even though he wasn't an efficient closer in his two-month stint to finish the 2016 season, he's been effective in two outings to start the season, and he's expected to hold down his role for the foreseeable future, making him a valuable source of saves.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson remains the Pirates' closer despite his recent struggles, GM Neal Huntington told SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio on Wednesday. "Watson has been one of the best performing relievers in baseball," Huntington said. "We're comfortable with him pitching in the ninth."

Added 03/22/17 3:30 pm (EST)
This vote of confidence is encouraging, coming on the heels of Watson's five-run blowup Sunday -- he recorded just two outs. Overall, Watson has given up eight runs on eight hits with a 6:3 K:BB this spring. The lefty's skills slipped again last season, with his 4.37 FIP suggesting he overachieved to a significant extent with a 3.06 ERA, but the Pirates seem to be content at the back end for the time being given Watson's larger body of work. Daniel Hudson is believed to be next in line for save chances in Pittsburgh.
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