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2021 Angels Player Review: Tony Watson

Watson spent a total of five months with the team before being traded to San Francisco at the deadline

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Watson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round of the 2017 draft, and made his MLB debut in 2011. In 2014 he made the All Star team and won the MLBPAA Pirates Heart and Hustle Award in 2015. He was traded to the Dodgers in 2017 and was signed as a free agent by the Giants before the start of the 2018 season. He played with San Francisco through 2020 until electing free agency and joining the Phillies in February of 2021. Watson’s time as an Angel began last season after he was released by Philadelphia and signed with the Angels on March 29th.

Watson was active on the roster except for a brief period from May 2nd to 9th when he was on the 10 day injured list with a left calf strain. Watson’s numbers at home (2-1, 3.46 ERA, 26.0 IP, 11 R) were slightly better than how he fared on the road (5-3, 4.31 ERA, 31.1 IP, 15 R). He pitched for the team in a versatile bullpen role, seeing work in the fifth through ninth innings, and finished five games, like he did for the Halos on June 1st against the Giants in San Francisco.

Speaking of the Giants, as previously mentioned, he played for them from 2018-2020, and on July 30th, the day of the trade deadline, he was traded to SF for RHP Ivan Armstrong, LHP Sam Selman, and RHP Jose Marte. Watson, who had struggled with the Angels, was noticeably more successful with the Giants as his numbers produced a 4-1 record, 2.96 ERA in 24.1 IP, with 8 earned runs.

2021 Stats (Only with LAA):

3 Wins / 3 Loss / 4.64 ERA / 36 Games / 0 Games Started / 33.0 Innings Pitched / 25 Strikeouts / 14 Walks / 1.182 WHIP / 0.1 WAR / 25 Hits Allowed / 18 Runs Allowed / 3 Home Runs Allowed

Best Performance of the Year:

Watson’s best performance of the season came on April 28th away against the Rangers in a tight 4-3 win. Starter Alex Cobb lasted only 2.0 innings and gave up 6 hits and 3 runs and the bullpen, led by Christ Rodriuguez, then followed by Watson, Mayers, and Iglesias was able to hold the Rangers scoreless for the rest of the game and secure the win. Watson went 1.2 innings, tied for his longest outing of the year, while giving up no runs, no hits, and striking out one.

Roster Status:

As mentioned earlier, Watson’s career with the Angels ended before the conclusion of the season, after he was traded to Giants at the deadline. He played the remainder of the season with San Francisco except for a stint on the IL with a left shoulder strain from September 30th to October 9th, and he was activated from the reserve list on October 15th. Due to his injury, Watson was prevented from pitching for the Giants in the NLDS and on November 3rd he elected free agency. Where Watson will pitch next season is uncertain and will be decided after the lockout.

2021 Overall Grade: C