One of fantasy's riskiest closers heading into 2016, Shawn Tolleson confirmed suspicions about him by all but imploding over the first month of the year, losing his job in May and never regaining it. He failed to build on the bigger strikeout punch he showed in 2015, losing effectiveness on nearly all of his pitches, per PITCHf/x, and crashing with a career-worst 2.0 HR/9. He declined a minor league assignment to Triple-A Round Rock and became a free agent. He will probably need to land on a team willing to work with him, though at age 29, he can still find value. After all, he carried a steady 2.2 BB/9 in the past two seasons -- not a bad foundation. Regardless, there's no reason to consider him in fantasy drafts until he can ascend to a meaningful role somewhere close to saves, although that seems to be unlikely with Alex Colome and Brad Boxberger in the way in Tampa.
Tolleson, who gave up two earned runs on two hits and two walks over an inning against the Yankees on Thursday, continues to struggle with his velocity, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The veteran reliever was called out after the game by manager Kevin Cash following another outing in which his velocity was stuck in the low 90s. Thursday, he retired three of seven batters and gave up a home run to Ronald Torreyes while seeing his ERA climb to 7.20 over five appearances. Tolleson's struggles potentially open up a roster spot for a young arm like Austin Pruitt or Jaime Schultz, who've posted 1.84 and 2.13 ERAs, respectively.
Tolleson (back) gave up a hit and a walk over a scoreless inning in Tuesday's 10-6 Grapefruit League split-squad win over the Yankees. He also recorded a strikeout. Having been hampered by back spasms since his initial spring training appearance back on March 3, Tolleson finally returned to the mound and made it through his one inning unscathed despite facing regulars Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Matt Holliday, Chase Headley and Aaron Judge. Tolleson's velocity still checked in below his typical 92-93 mph, but the veteran reported feeling healthy coming out of the outing.
Tolleson (back) is slated to ramp up his activity this week, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Back spasms sidelined Tolleson after his first spring training appearance back on Mar. 3, and he hasn't taken the mound since. The veteran is seeking to carve out a roster spot as a middle reliever this spring, a task that's been made increasingly difficult by his layoff.
Tolleson has been dealing with back spasms in recent days, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Tolleson hasn't pitched since making his Grapefruit League debut March 3, and it appears that the injury was the reason why. The Rays don't seem to be fearing that the back issues will put Tolleson at risk of missing Opening Day, so the right-hander should still remain in the hunt for a middle-relief role to begin 2017.
Tolleson made his first appearance of spring training Friday, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two and walking one across a single inning of work. The back injury was never thought to be overly serious, but Tampa Bay decided to take it slow with Tolleson in hopes of preventing his previous issues from resurfacing. They Rays will continue to be cautious with the veteran reliever, who won't need extensive work this spring to prepare for his mid-leverage role in the bullpen.