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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: PIRATES LIKELY TO NAME FELIPE RIVERO CLOSER

The human blowtorch otherwise known as Pittsburgh Pirates closer Tony Watson might have started his last ninth inning fire in awhile as the team now appears to be on the verge of installing dominant setup man Felipe Rivero into the role moving forward.  Already manager Clint Hurdle admitted after Watson blew his fourth save of the year Tuesday night that he was mulling the move to Rivero and team reports early Wednesday are saying the move is "imminent."  That makes perfect sense from a numbers perspective as Watson now sits with a mediocre 3.91 ERA and even more ghastly 1.50 WHIP.  Meanwhile Rivero has arguably been the most flawless setup man in the game as he goes into Wednesday's action with a 0.66 ERA and 0.77 WHIP with 32 K's in 30 innings pitched.  I personally had my reservations about Watson as closer going back to spring training as he was not impressive in the role during the second half of last season amid my question regarding whether he had the mental strength to pitch in the ninth.  Rivero deserves the chance as he has the high-K repertoire needed for the ninth but he too will have to prove mentally he can handle the assignment.  As dominant as Rivero has been, he is no guarantee either as he had an ugly 1.50 WHIP in 27.1 innings that included 18 walks a year ago.  Walks in the ninth is always a bad thing and so Rivero could still cause agita.  Be that as it may, Rivero needs to be added in all leagues.  


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