Ryan Pressly, one of the premier closers in the game, has come out against the pitch clock. I’ve been waiting to see who would be the first to express their displeasure with this newest attempt to speed up the game, and it’s Houston’s closer.

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I already had concerns about how Pressly would perform this season, and now after his comments, I’m in full panic mode. To begin with, Pressly’s season ended later than most, in November after winning the World Series. And now it has started earlier than others, as he is closing out games for Team USA in the WBC. Last season, he pitched in 10 postseason games, pitching 11 innings. Since 2018 he has pitched in a total of 38.2 innings in 41 postseason games. Even without this added mental issue to overcome, the sheer wear and tear on his arm is worrisome. Closers tend to have short windows of excellence, and although he’s only entering his fourth season as the full-time closer for the Astros, he has been logging innings as a back-end reliever since he began in 2013 with the Twins. His next appearance will be his 500th for his career, and he’s pitched over 500 innings. 

As far as the pitch clock, Pressly has stated he believes he’ll be able to adjust, but added that he was taught that pitchers need to go at their own pace … this is definitely on his mind. And do not minimize the fact that while other pitchers are working on the timing to get used to the clock at Spring Training, Pressly is pitching for Team USA in the WBC, which does not utilize a pitch clock. So he is still “pitching at his own pace.” 

He is a pro, and I do expect him to adjust however, baseball players are very superstitious and love their routines. Any deviation from that routine can affect their performance. And closers tend to be extra “eccentric.” As much as I like Pressly and believe his job is 100% safe, you may want to pursue other ninth-inning options for your fantasy team. Devin Williams, Josh Hader or Emmanuel Clase should be earmarked over Pressly this season.