Closing Time 6/7: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

While Craig Kimbrel’s May left a lot to be desired (6.30 ERA, 1.70 WHIP) and there was some talk of him potentially losing his job, I think it’s safe to say he won’t be losing his job outright barring an injury or catastrophic string of outings. Daniel Hudson has been phenomenal for this Dodgers team, but with Blake Treinen out I’m sure they’d prefer him working in big spots prior to the ninth. Kimbrel is still missing bats at an elite rate (36.7%) and I still wouldn’t be too concerned with how his May ended.




  • Andrew Kittredge has returned to the Tampa Bay pen and should move back into high leverage work rather quickly. Colin Poche will still be in the mix for saves as the left-handed option, but Kittredge, assuming he stays healthy, should be the favorite to lead the team in saves the rest of the way.
  • The Marlins are still searching for their closer, with Tanner Scott picking up the only save for the team this past week. Cole Sulser seems to have blown his chances and Dylan Floro just finally picked up his second strikeout of the season in his last outing, his tenth appearance this season. If Anthony Bender is able to return by the end of the month, perhaps he will get this job back.


  • The Red Sox closer situation is still up in the air but there are only two relievers to trust here at the moment. John Schreiber is the best right-handed option the team has while Jake Diekman has been steady as the team’s top lefty. The best option likely remains outside of the current roster, and I wonder if the team would consider promoting Brayan Bello and either make him the closer or move Garrett Whitlock into the role.
  • Tony Santillan picked up the Reds’ last save but he definitely isn’t sturdy enough to take the role and run with it, leaving the door open to perhaps Lucas Sims who might return before the All-Star break. For the most part, it’s a situation to forget about unless they ever decide to give their best reliever, Alexis Díaz, a chance at the job.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Edwin Díaz+1
4Raisel Iglesias-1
5Emmanuel Clase
6Taylor Rogers-
7Jordan Romano-
8Kenley Jansen-
9Craig Kimbrel-
10Ryan Pressly-
11David Bednar-
12Camilo Doval-
13Clay Holmes
14Ryan Helsley-
15Jhoan Duran-
16David Robertson-
17Joe Barlow+1
18Corey Knebel-1
19Daniel Bard-
20Tanner Rainey+1
21Jorge López+1
22Dany Jiménez-2
23Gregory Soto
24Paul Sewald+1
25Scott Barlow-1
26Andrew Kittredge+UR
27Mark Melancon-1
28Tanner Scott
29John Schreiber+UR
30Tony Santillan+UR


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Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

6 responses to “Closing Time 6/7: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Simsbad says:

    a lot of ‘experts’ are projecting Tanner Houck on top of the Boston hierarch right now. thought?

    • Rick Graham says:

      I think he could maybe be part of a committee but with his ability to work multiple innings (and ineffectiveness against lefties), I don’t see him becoming a full time closer. My guess is he takes over the old Garrett Whitlock role.

    • BB says:

      That seems to be based on the fact that Houck was warming up for a possible save situation last Friday, but I’m not sure that was actually planned. Strahm started the eighth but only got one out while allowing a run, so Schreiber came in – I suspect he was already warm since he had been getting ready for the ninth, but Houck had to get up instead (but haven’t found confirmation of that). Then Houck pitched the eighth with an 8-0 lead the next night, not necessarily the way you would use a committee leader. And FWIW, Schreiber and Strahm were the ones getting ready for the ninth last night in case Kluber faltered. (Diekman hasn’t pitched since May 31, not sure he’s that much of a factor.)

  2. theKraken says:

    Kenley will go down as one of the best RP of all-time always be left out of the top tier of closers. No, I will never stop saying it. When you look at the body of work, it can’t be justified to ever have him out of the top tier… yet every year it is a miracle all over again.

  3. theKraken says:

    The current crop of closers is TRASH. I am kind of just starting to check in with all kinds of rankings and it is shocking.

  4. David Bednar's Mom says:

    Bednar is far better than you’re ranking. He’s pitching at an elite level and you’ve got him almost in the middle, like he’s barely above average. Hardly. Look at Bednar’s numbers, consider that he pitches for one of the worst teams in baseball, and try to justify your ranking. I’d like to hear it, but I doubt you will. Maybe you should just admit you’re wrong.

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