One of baseball's leading groundball pitchers finally flashed those skills in a notable fantasy role, running away with Texas' closer gig after Shawn Tolleson imploded. He boasts a 2.45 ERA since 2013, mainly via a dominant two-seamer/sinker. Still, he carries a few warning signs for 2017. Sam Dyson has quietly allowed homers at a more frequent rate in the last two years. Relievers can keep high left on-base percentages, but his jump to 85.4 looks ripe to dip back toward his career 77.1 mark. His strikeout rate (7.0 per nine) and swinging-strike percentage (8.3) were his lowest in his three seasons with significant work. Dyson's walk rate also ballooned to 4.1 BB/9 in the second half. Fantasy owners shouldn't bet on a closer sustaining success with those numbers, no matter how good his signature pitch. He's particularly risky since Texas has several options who may keep his leash short.
Dyson threw six perfect innings over five World Baseball Classic appearances, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Dyson was flawless throughout the WBC, suggesting any wrist ailment that had been bothering him in early March is now a thing of the past. It also helps solidify his status as the frontrunner for the Rangers' closer position, despite Jeremy Jeffress and Matt Bush waiting in the wings. Dyson may not yet have as long of a leash as other veteran closers, but if he continues to use an upper-90s sinker to induce frequent ground balls, removing him from that role would become increasingly difficult. The 28-year-old was tremendously successful in his first chance as a full-time closer last season, posting a 2.43 ERA while converting 38 of 43 save opportunities.
Dyson (wrist) felt good Friday after throwing a simulated inning against minor league hitters Thursday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Dyson is expected to make one spring appearance before leaving for the World Baseball Classic on Monday. Given that he's still scheduled to represent Team USA in the tournament, it appears as though Dyson's wrist won't be an issue once the regular season gets underway in April.
Dyson (wrist) is progressing well and is expected to throw a simulated game Thursday, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The closer sprained the wrist during a fall last week, but it isn't expected to affect his status for Opening Day. Dyson's status for the World Baseball Classic is still in jeopardy and he likely won't return to game action for a few days as a precaution. The right-hander is coming off a breakout season with the Rangers, in which he compiled 38 saves and 55 strikeouts.
Dyson sprained his wrist during a fall Friday and has been scratched from Tuesday's outing against the Diamondbacks, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. An MRI came back negative and he is considered day-to-day. He will play catch Tuesday but won't pitch in a game. His availability for the first round of the World Baseball Classic is now questionable. A decision regarding the WBC will be made in a few days. The injury sounds minor enough that the Rangers should still have their closer for Opening Day.
Dyson agreed to a one-year, $3.52 million contract with the Rangers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Dyson took over the closer job from Shawn Tolleson in mid-May, finishing 38-for-42 in save opportunities. However, he wasn't as dominant as he was in 2015, with his strikeout rate falling to below 20 percent and his walk rate ticking up to over eight percent. He should remain in the ninth inning to begin 2017, but the Rangers could turn to Matt Bush or Jeremy Jeffress should Dyson slip up.