Closing Time 5/28: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2024 season

Jordan Romano has not been pitching well this season with a 6.39 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.31 xFIP and he’s just lost his ability to miss bats it seems (20.7% strikeout and 11.6% swinging-strike rates). The positives here are at least Romano’s stuff is grading out well (135 Stuff+ and 5.30 PLV) and is sporting his highest BABIP since 2019 (.316), so perhaps he can get this thing turned around rather quickly. He also currently holds career high Called Strike (17.6%) and Zone rates (45.7%), as well as a career-low walk rate (6.9%), which perhaps is a part of the problem to some degree? His O-Swing rate is down 3% from 2022-23 so we have this combination of Romano being in the zone more often and getting less chases when he’s not.

I like the aggressiveness in the zone, but Romano needs to do a better job with his slider while up in the count (too much plate) and getting his fastball up at the top of the zone more (lot of middle right now). His slider shape has changed a bit here as well, as he’s now getting more vertical drop and less horizontal compared to previous seasons, so I feel either a tweak to his slider is needed to get back to where it usually is, or he needs to adjust to this new slider and make sure he’s not leaving it over the plate so much. Either way, I think there’s still hope for Romano despite the shaky start, but it likely won’t be some sort of overnight fix.




  • Reed Garrett got the first crack at save chances with Edwin Díaz taking a break from the role, and Garrett wound up with back-to-back losses, allowing six hits and six earned runs, and has not pitched since. A day after Garrett’s last outing (in which Díaz earned a hold), the Mets rushed Díaz back into the closer role on short rest where he proceeded to give up two hits and a run to blow the save chance. It’s anyone’s guess as to who gets the next chance here, but I still believe in Díaz long term and he’s the only Met reliever I’d be rostering in save-only leagues right now. (Removed Díaz after he was placed on the IL)
  • Evan Phillips worked a clean inning in his first rehab outing Sunday and should be ready to return to the Dodgers bullpen after one or two more rehab appearances. The Dodgers have been unorthodox with their bullpen usage in the past but I think it’s pretty safe to assume Phillips goes right back into the closer role here once he returns later this week.


  • James McArthur feels pretty safe in the closer role because the Royals don’t have much competition there but things still aren’t trending the right way over the past three weeks. McArthur still isn’t walking many batters, which is great obviously, but he has just a 14.3% strikeout rate over his past eight innings and a 1.38 WHIP despite a 2.9% walk rate and .269 BABIP. There’s swing and miss stuff there so I’m not overly concerned yet, but he does drop a bit this week as both the floor and ceiling look a bit lower than originally thought.
  • Kirby Yates hasn’t been particularly good over his past eight innings, with seven walks (20% walk rate) and a 4.67 xFIP/4.68 SIERA despite allowing only two earned runs. The walk rate is certainly a concern, but I think Yates may have a tighter grip on this role than originally thought, partly because David Robertson has allowed seven earned runs over his past four innings and also, do we expect this team to be buyers at the deadline? They have deGrom and Scherzer coming back potentially, but at 25-29 right now, maybe Yates could remain the closer through the deadline. He’s a safer bet to keep his role than the guys below him on the list at least.


  • It’s painful to move Trevor Megill down the list this week, but we are getting closer to Devin Williams’ return, as he’s about four-to-six weeks away from being ready. If we knew Megill would be closing out games for the rest of the season, he’d easily be in the top ten, and probably in the first tier but with just one month to go as closer, it’s tough to justify that. Tanner Scott as well, he’s been good over his last 13.1 innings (basically after the Ozuna walk-off) but I’d say it’s unlikely he is closing out games wherever he ends up being traded to.
  • I don’t know what to do with Jason Foley and I think the safe thing to do is just not roster any Detroit relievers if you can. I thought Foley might be back in the closer role since there are no other options there, but then he had a pretty eventful weekend. He got one out Friday to pick up a cheap save, before working the eighth inning Saturday for a hold while Tyler Holton got a save, and then coming back on Sunday Foley and Holton allowed 3 ER a piece in the 7th and 8th inning. Foley may get the next save chance, but I don’t think this headache is worth it.



And if you want more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series


Watch List



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

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.

3 responses to “Closing Time 5/28: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Brian says:

    Why move Megill down bc Devin Williams is “getting closer?” which has nothing to do with his current status and or his results. Literally makes no sense.

  2. CJ says:

    Yeah could not agree more. Megill and Tanner Scott have both been incredible the past 2 weeks. I’m pretty sure just a couple weeks ago, Megill was a buy low target here, now he drops in the rankings because Williams is 1.5 months away?? No guarantee he hits the ground running in late innings with that bad of a back injury

    • Rick Graham says:

      I’m the biggest Scott and Megill fan around, they still both should be rostered, but Williams is a month away and Scott will be traded. If Williams wasn’t lurking, Megill would probably be top 5. If Scott was to stay with the Marlins as their closer, he’d be in the top 10-14 range. Just planning out for the rest of the season I feel like guys like Romano and Iglesias (as bad as they’ve looked) still have better season long value as they likely don’t lose their jobs.

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