The San Francisco Giants have finally added a lefty reliever to the fold. They decided to jump into the Lux-Tax with Tony Watson.
The San Francisco Giants had a total of one lefty reliever slated for their roster in 2018: Will Smith. While I like Smith, he just had Tommy John surgery, and it was not going to be a good gamble on him as the lone lefty.
The lack of left handed relievers in the Giants bullpen has been a bone to pick of mine, dating back to last season. But the addition of Tony Watson to the fold has now calmed my complaints. Watson and the Giants have a deal according to FanRagSports duo, Jon Heyman and Robert Murray.
It’s also apparently a multi-year deal, according to Robert Murray as well.
He’ll jump into the fold and immediately be a big help, and a great left handed option at the back of the rotation.
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Watson was a free agent after being traded to the Dodgers last season at the deadline. He spent the rest of his career so far with the Pirates. One would like to think they used Andrew McCutchen as a recruiter. But at the same time, the club and ballpark can recruit itself.
Watson posted a 3.38 ERA in 2017, but posted a really nice 2.7 ERA in 20 innings with the Dodgers, where his strikeout and walk numbers really came together. He has struggled (in context) in the last two years, compared to his previous two years. Watson’s best seasons came in 2013-2016. But in context, last year he would have been the Giants best reliever by far.
Watson will fit really well into the Giants bullpen, especially as a 7th inning option and beyond. He’s not a big “strikeout” guy, where he hovers around 20% of his outs as strikeouts. But he does induce ground balls around 50% of the time, which is great for the infield defense that they will employ behind him.
For Watson to be successful in a Giants uniform in 2018, they’ll need him to cut his walks back a bit. If he can do that, the Giants bullpen may just return to it’s championship status in 2018.