Closing Time 6/19: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Rick Graham's weekly Closers update is live for 6/19, ranking all 30 closer situations.

[closing_time list_id=”22046″ season=”2018″ include_stats=”1″]


With Hector Neris being demoted to AAA after yet another meltdown Sunday, it appears we are moving closer to a Seranthony Dominguez led Phillies bullpen. We will probably see some ridiculous timeshare at first, with the likes of Luis Garcia, Adam Morgan, Tommy Hunter, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos seeing some 9th inning work but this should end up being Seranthony’s job sooner rather than later. Last night we saw Ramos work the 8th and Arano the 9th with Dominguez resting after throwing over 50 pitches this weekend. That seems like a good sign as Kapler may be looking to get Ramos settled into the 8th inning going forward. If it was for certain Seranthony were to see close to if not all of the save chances, I would bump him to 5th on this list. An 11.39 K% with a 1.27 BB% (27/3 K/BB) to go with a 19% SwStr rate mixed in with a cool 1.26 FIP and 1.91 SIERA is something special, even if it’s only been 21.1 innings.

  • In other committee news, the Astros and Mets situations are likely to be extremely frustrating all season long. I think we are going to see a true two committee in both spots for the time being, but there should still be some value to owning Ken Giles, Hector Rondon, Jeurys Familia and Robert Gsellman. Just prepare to be annoyed when one of them is working the 8th instead of the 9th. I don’t particularly want anything to do with the situations in Toronto, Tampa Bay or Kansas City right now, but if I had to choose one reliever from the group it’d still be Ryan Tepera. I’m starting to think Hunter Strickland’s time as closer is coming to an end soon, after posting a 5+ xFIP and SIERA over the past month, which ranks him second to last on the list. He’s also just not missing bats anymore (10.1 SwStr% over the last month is 5th worst, while a 1.33 K/BB% is 3rd worst). These numbers don’t even take into account last nights debacle so now would be the time to sell Strickland and buy Melancon if you still can.
  • No closer injuries to report on this week, although Andrew Miller seems close to a return from a knee injury. While not injured, we did get some more information regarding Roberto Osuna and his legal case, as his next scheduled hearing is July 9th. At that time, we may finally get an idea of what the rest of his season will look like.
  • Aroldis Chapman, Arodys Vizcaino, and Shane Greene led the week with 4 saves. Greene’s low ranking on the list has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with the fact he will be traded into a setup role at some point this season. It’s the perfect time for the Tigers to sell high on him and Joe Jimenez has proven he’s ready to take over the closer’s role.

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.

18 responses to “Closing Time 6/19: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. vinny says:

    Any worry about Bradley taking over for Boxberger?

    • Rick Graham says:

      A little. The track record is shaky so it’s no sure thing he turns this around, but I don’t see a change happening any time soon.

  2. michael's jordan says:

    where would you place Hicks if he overtook Norris for the closer gig?

  3. Ryan says:

    What a joke list. Seranthony above Morrow? lol

    • Turp says:

      Thanks for providing data behind your incredulity.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Seranthony has been better over the past month and it’s not all that close


      And now that he should get the bulk of or atleast every other save chance, I think he is just as good, if not slightly better than Morrow rest of season.

      • Ryan says:

        You’re comparing a new, one season (17 games), unproven RP put into a closer role on a mediocre (at best) team against a legit closer on a legit team that’s slated to have numerous save chances ROS that has pitched in numerous high leverage situations already this season. And is proven over 11 seasons and the previous 3 seasons being the best of his career (4 if counting 2018). The Cubs are 4th in save percentage and only 1 save opportunity behind Philadelphia 27 to 26. Cubs are 4th best in blown saves at only 6 and Philadelphia is middle of the pack with 9 blown saves. Gabe Kapler will likely continue to mix and match for his RPs yet Maddon is locked into Morrow as his closer. Sure… makes total sense man.

        I get adding him to the ranks, but not nearly where you slotted him. Him getting save chances solely depend on how Kapler runs his bullpen and if Dominguez can operate in such situations without having that type of experience before.

        • Rick Graham says:

          Thats great the Cubs are projected to win more games than the Phillies, but it means nothing for save chances. Tampa Bay had the second most last season and the Phillies having more save ops than the Cubs to this point doesn’t help your case.

          Seranthony has 12 SV+HD compared to 16 for Morrow this season, so they’ve both been pitching in high leverage spots.

          Morrows last three seasons were his best? He’s averaged 30 MLB innings a season since 2015.

          I think with Seranthony being the clear cut best option in Philly, Kapler has no choice but to role with him as the teams go to closer, now that the guy he was platooning with is out of the picture. The kid is a special talent and one I’d take a risk on in all leagues right now.

  4. Syryn says:

    I think you are overlooking Hector Rondon. This is not a pure committee. He has received FOUR STRAIGHT saving opportunities he was available for. 4 straight. The recent time Giles got a save Rondon was ‘unavailable’ for that (Houston Chronicle). The games Giles and Rondon have pitched together recently Giles has pitched before Rondon and Rondon has come to get the save. And this has worked flawlessly for the Astros.

    I don’t know how many straight closing opportunities it takes to break out of the “committee” label but IMO 4 is pretty significant. And why not Rondon at closer? He has been great this season high Ks low BB and great ratios. And playing for the world champs should propel him to a top 10 closer ROS.

    • Ryan says:

      I also agree. I dropped Giles to pick up Rondon past weekend because of this very thing you’re talking about.

      I have Rondon, Kimbrel, and Morrow. Rick is saying Dominguez is better than all of them unproven in a closer role. I think it’s an absurd ranking. I enjoy the rankings but this week’s is out of whack for sure.

  5. PitcherList Superfan says:

    Seranthony all the way up to #8? This seems a little extreme and is technically telling me that I should drop Iglesias (also own Kimbrel and Morrow) to pick him up, which I just can’t see myself doing. Convince me otherwise?

  6. Perfect Game says:

    Knebel or Allen ROS?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Coin flip, I have Allen ahead because I’d imagine he has a slightly tighter grasp on the 9th inning.

  7. HotDog says:

    Hey Rick,
    I love this column, thank you! I know we are between posts, but could you rank some speculative closers. These guys are all available in my league:


    Would you own any of these guys over McCarthy, who I regrettably do own?


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