WOAT: Tony Watson
For those who have followed the Pirates, it’s no surprise that Watson gets this dubious honor. What’s interesting to me, however, is that in my first “State of the Pirates” posted in early May, I picked Watson as my biggest surprise of the season.
Not too long ago, he was indeed “elementary.” At the time of my first article, Watson was a perfect seven-for-seven in save opportunities and had allowed just one earned run on the campaign. Needless to say, the ship has sailed in the wrong direction. Since May 9, Watson is a horrendous three-for-eight when called upon to lock down a ballgame. His ineptitude led him to lose the closer role, and Watson now pitchers in more low-leverage situations, where he hasn’t caused too much harm yet.
Tony Watson has done a lot of good things for the Pirates on the field over the years and, more importantly, seems like a pretty good guy off of it. Knowing that it was extra hard to see him struggle in the ninth inning this season. Thankfully, the game no longer rests in Watson’s hands, and the Pirates are better off because of it, as harsh as it is to say.