Closing Time 5/14: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2024 season

We all know just how good Andrés Muñoz’s pure stuff is, that has never been in question. The concern was always consistency, both in command and in role. Well the past 9.1 innings for Muñoz have been not only dominant (30% strikeout-minus-walk rate, 20.4% swinging-strike rate, and 0 ER) but he also has all four of the Mariners saves over that span and zero holds. With Gabe Speier struggling, he’s also looking like the only reliever Scott Servais can trust at the moment. With Matt Brash out for the year and Gregory Santos still a ways away, this team could desperately use some help at the back end (maybe a reunion with Erik Swanson who is struggling in Toronto?) which is why it was surprising to see them just DFA Tyson Miller.

Regardless, and getting back to Muñoz, I’m cautiously optimistic we are out of the closer-by-committee zone here as Muñoz is truly the only one to trust in the ninth inning. That’s what makes this different from Minnesota where Rocco Baldelli has two to three relievers he can trust in the ninth inning if he just wants to deploy Jhoan Duran against the top half of the lineup. However, you could definitely make the argument that Servais needs Muñoz to get the best hitters on the other team out, so he could go back to using him in the seventh or eighth if needed. The usage for Muñoz and Duran will be fascinating to monitor going forward, but I still think the high upside talent both relievers possess curbs any potential downside in them seeing non-closer usage from time to time.




  • So we knew Edwin Diaz has not been quite himself this season, and even that being the case he’s been a well above-average closer. For the time being though, he’s not the top closing option in baseball, not until we see the stuff return closer to it’s 2022 form. Emmanuel Clase is just more consistent and I think Ryan Helsley has a tad bit higher upside the way both of them are throwing right now.
  • Pete Fairbanks returned this past weekend and looked good in a non-save situation before being unable to pitch last night in a save situation due to a cut on his finger. I love Fairbanks but it does feel like there’s always something going on with him to keep him from being 100%. Hopefully, we see a similar run to last year from him where he was dominant from June onward.


  • I think it’s safe to say there is no closer committee in Milwaukee anymore (although maybe we shouldn’t because we just said this a month ago for Abner Uribe) with Trevor Megill the clear-cut best option in that bullpen with Uribe at AAA and Joel Payamps being Joel Payamps. Megill has the best Stuff+ (154) of any reliever except Mason Miller (155) but somehow only holds 21.6% strikeout and 12.1% swinging-strike rates. I feel like that is due to change, at least I hope so anyway, but either way the upside is here to chase Megill, even if he only has two months left as the team’s closer.
  • Kirby Yates has been good, but he was definitely overachieving so I think we have to reel back the expectations here a bit. The walks are starting to pile up (four in his last four outings) as teams are laying off his splitter more. David Robertson has definitely been the best reliever in that bullpen to date, but unless Yates has multiple meltdowns, there’s no reason to expect a closer switch.


  • I suppose Craig Kimbrel currently isn’t the Orioles closer as he has four holds and a win over his past five outings dating back to May 4th, but I do think he is still seen as the long-term closer this season, at least by Brandon Hyde given his comments on the situation. Kimbrel has pitched better than Yennier Cano and Jacob Webb this month, and really the only closing option on the roster better than Kimbrel at the moment may be Danny Coulombe.
  • Yesterday was a tough day for the Diaz brothers as they both blew saves and subsequently moved down the list this week as I think Alexis Díaz’s time as Reds’ closer has got to be coming to an end. Diaz has been terrible this season, with a 5.7% strikeout-minus-walk rate, a 9.3% swinging-strike rate, a 1.64 WHIP, and a 5.66 xFIP. The only problem is that Fernando Cruz has not exactly been dominant lately as well (21.4% walk rate in May, 9.53 ERA). Lucas Sims and Emilio Pagán have pitched better this month, so perhaps they will get a look, but I still see Cruz as the better season-long option.



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Rank Pitcher Change
1Emmanuel ClaseT1+1
2Ryan Helsley+1
3Edwin Díaz-2
4Mason Miller+1
5Jhoan Duran
6Josh Hader-
7Pete Fairbanks+UR
8Andrés Muñoz+6
9Clay Holmes
10Camilo Doval-2
11David Bednar-2
12James McArthur-2
13Robert Suarez-2
14Raisel Iglesias-2
15Jordan Romano-2
16Paul Sewald-
17Trevor Megill
18Kenley Jansen-
19Tanner Scott-
20Kirby Yates-5
21Michael Kopech+1
22José Alvarado+1
23Craig Kimbrel-6
24Kyle Finnegan+1
25Carlos Estévez-1
26Jason Foley-
27Alexis Díaz-7
28Daniel Hudson-1
29Héctor Neris
30Jalen Beeks+UR

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

One response to “Closing Time 5/14: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Greg Warren says:

    How does Holmes barely make your top 10? Yet the Helsley is #2 and the Cardinals are terrible…

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