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.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson allowed five runs on three hits and two walks Sunday. He retired only two batters, striking out one, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "The overall execution (was lacking), and the balls were elevated," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Without having the consistency of keeping the ball down, it was a challenge for him."

Added 03/19/17 10:29 pm (EST)
Watson enters 2017 as the undisputed closer with Pittsburgh, but he's followed up a mediocre showing as the team's closer late in 2016 with a shaky camp. In 4.3 innings, Watson has allowed eight runs on eight hits (16.62 ERA) with three walks and six strikeouts. The team would likely look to Daniel Hudson and Felipe Rivero should Watson's struggles carry over into the regular season.
Tony Watson Headshot

The Pirates will monitor Watson's workload in spring training as he enters the season as the team's closer, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.

Added 03/01/17 10:54 am (EST)
Manager Clint Hurdle is focused more on Watson's usage than his new ninth-inning role. The lefty has averaged a league-high 72 appearances over the last five seasons. "I've seen pitchers who may not be as mentally comfortable in some innings as others," Hurdle said. "I don't believe that's the case with Watson. I believe last year it was the volume of work that caught up to him. It just got to be a heavy load." Watson, who lost his recent arbitration case, will become a free agent following 2017. Accordingly, the potential trade candidate has plenty of incentive to pitch well this summer.
Daniel Hudson Headshot

Hudson will serve as Pittsburgh's closer on days Tony Watson is unable to close, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Added 02/23/17 10:40 pm (EST)
Pirates GM Neal Huntington announced the team's pecking order for saves, listing Watson first and then Hudson and Felipe Rivero. Huntington typically doesn't permit his relievers to pitch three straight days, giving Hudson the chance to potentially close after Watson has thrown in back-to-back calendar days. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Pirates move Watson (who will become a free agent after 2017) at the trade deadline, freeing up Hudson to close in the second half of the season.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson lost his salary arbitration case against the Pirates, and he'll make $5.6 million this season instead of his requested $6 million, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Added 02/16/17 11:38 am (EST)
Watson saved 15 games and posted a 3.06 ERA last year, taking over the closer role after Pittsburgh traded Mark Melancon. He's set to occupy the same role heading into 2017 and could wind up a productive fantasy value pick, though he falls a bit short with strikeouts compared to most stoppers. Daniel Hudson and Felipe Rivero may earn consideration for save opportunities if he struggles.
Tony Watson Headshot

Pirates did not come to terms with Tony Watson before the deadline and will go to arbitration.

Added 01/14/17 12:35 pm (EST)   Source
It is generally a bad thing when the team and player cannot come to terms and have to head to a hearing. Word is that the team only wanted to offer a one year deal, and there are hints that Watson will be on the trading block, with Seattle among the teams interested in acquiring the 31-year old lefty closer. If Watson were to be dealt, then the closer situation in Pittsburgh would become fluid, with both Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio in the mix to assume the ninth inning duties.
Tony Watson Headshot

Tony Watson is expected to serve as the Pirates closer for the remainder of this season.

Added 07/30/16 4:22 pm (EST)   Source
You may be wondering why the Pirates traded their All Star closer in the middle of a close wild card race? Well the answer is a strong mix of a contract coming to an end and Tony Watson being a closer in waiting. Watson has a 2.66 ERA and 39 SO in 44 IP, he has the potential to be a good closer and now with Melancon in DC he is getting his chance.
Tony Watson Headshot

Pirates Tony Watson has been activated from the paternity list.

Added 05/28/16 5:37 pm (EST)   Source
Watson has enjoyed a nice season so far in 2016, posting a 2.18 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 7.40 K/9. He has been a nice option for those in holds leagues as he has ten on the season. Insert him back into your lineup if you count on him.
Tony Watson Headshot

Tony Watson has been placed on the Paternity List.

Added 05/25/16 2:16 pm (EST)   Source
The Pirates' bullpen is undergoing some temporary rearrangements right now, as Watson will be away from the team for at least the next couple of days and Arquimedes Caminero (quad) has been placed on the DL. Right-hander Rob Scahill and lefty Kyle Lobstein have both been called up from Triple-A.
Tony Watson Headshot

Watson would likely serve as Pittsburgh's closer Wednesday if the team decides to rest Mark Melancon.

Added 05/18/16 12:23 pm (EST)   Source
Watson has been a great setup man over the last few seasons for the Pirates and this year he is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA while striking out 14 over 17.2 innings.
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