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Watson with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017
May 30, 1985 |
Sioux City, Iowa
|June 8, 2011, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
(through 2017 season)
|Earned run average||2.68|
|Career highlights and awards|
Anthony Michael Watson (born May 30, 1985) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in 2003 but chose to attend the University of Nebraska.
Watson attended Dallas Center Grimes High School in Grimes, Iowa. He was selected in the 23rd round of the 2003 Major League Baseball draft by the Florida Marlins, but he chose to attend the University of Nebraska, where he pitched from 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he had a 6–1 win-loss record and a 2.82 earned run average (ERA) in 23 games (five starts) and in 2006 he went 10–2 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 games (15 starts). Watson was drafted in the 17th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles, but chose not to sign. In 2007, he went 6–4 with a 4.09 ERA in 15 starts. He was then drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft and began his professional career that season.
Watson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. He split 2007 between the State College Spikes and Hickory Crawdads, going a combined 7–2 with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts. In 2008, he went 8–12 with a 3.56 ERA in 28 starts for the Lynchburg Hillcats and in 2009 he went 0–3 with an 8.22 ERA in five starts for the Altoona Curve. He went 6–4 with a 2.67 ERA in 34 games (nine starts) with the Curve in 2010.
On June 7, 2011, Watson was called up to the majors for the first time. José Ascanio was designated for assignment to make room. Watson made his major league debut on June 8, 2011, striking out both batters he faced, Chris Young and Juan Miranda of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Watson went 2–2 with a 3.95 ERA in 43 games in 2011.
In 2012, Watson went 5–2 with a 3.38 ERA in 68 games. In 2013, Watson went 3–1 with a 2.39 ERA in 67 games with 2 saves. In 2014, Watson went 10–2 with a career-best 1.63 ERA in 78 games with 2 saves. On May 26, 2014, Watson got his first career big league hit, a single off of Carlos Torres of the New York Mets. During the 2014 season, Watson earned his first MLB All Star Game selection. He retired the only batter he faced during the game.
In 2015, Watson went 4–1 with a 1.91 ERA in 77 games with 1 save. At the 2016 trade deadline, the Pirates traded Mark Melancon to the Nationals, Watson moved then from a setup role to the closer role. At the end of the season, Watson finished with 15 saves in 70 games. At the beginning of the 2017 season, Watson began as closer but after a string of consecutive blown saves, Watson was moved back to a setup role.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On July 31, 2017, the Pirates traded Watson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor leaguers Angel German and Oniel Cruz. In 24 appearances for the Dodgers he was 2–1 with a 2.70 ERA. In the post-season, he pitched in all three rounds of the playoffs, and was the winning pitcher in two games of the 2017 World Series.
Watson and his wife, Cassie, have one child; a daughter, Wynnie. The family lives in Florida during the offseason.
- "Pirates recall Watson, DFA Ascanio". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- "Tony Watson out as closer as Pirates turn to Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio". ESPN.com. June 9, 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- RotoWire (June 9, 2017). "Pirates' Felipe Rivero: Will share closer duties". CBS Sports. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- Minami, Craig (July 31, 2017). "Dodgers acquire left-handed reliever Tony Watson from Pittsburgh for two minor leaguers". SB Nation. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- "Tony Watson Statistics & History". Baseball Reference.
- "When the Major League Baseball pitcher in your family gets his high school jersey "retired"". Offenburger.com. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
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