Closing Time 6/28: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Tuesday

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Closing Time! A weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers...

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Closing Time! A weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Accompanied by who is most likely to assume the closer role in the event of a change in the hierarchy. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the rest of the season.

Share your questions and critiques in the comments, I’ll be sure to respond. Follow me on twitter @Just_In_Relief for occasional notes on bullpen happenings through a fantasy lens. Let’s get to it.


1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Pedro Baez

2. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Brad Brach

3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees) – Andrew Miller

4. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed

5. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals) – Kelvin Herrera or Joakim Soria

6. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Neftali Feliz or Tony Watson


7. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jake Diekman or Matt Bush

8. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox) – Koji Uehara

9. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones

10. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) – Xavier Cedeno

11. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – David Phelps

12. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Jason Grilli

13. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) – Pedro Strop


14. Fernando Rodney (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter

15. Seung Hwan Oh / Kevin Siegrist / Jonathan Broxton (St. Louis Cardinals)

16. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Hunter Strickland or Cory Gearrin

17. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Justin Wilson

18. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners) – Joaquin Benoit

19. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals) INJURED

20. Will Harris (Houston Astros) – Ken Giles/Luke Gregerson


21. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians) – Bryan Shaw

22. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson

23. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris

24. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels) – Fernando Salas

25. Sean Kelley (Washington Nationals) – Felipe Rivero


26. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers) – Will Smith

27. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves) – Jim Johnson

28. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds) – Ross Ohlendorf

29. Carlos Estevez (Colorado Rockies) – Boone Logan

30. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Sean Doolittle

31/32. Brandon Kintzler / Fernando Abad (Minnesota Twins)

TIER 7 – Speculative

33. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

34. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

35. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers)

36. Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)

37/38 Ken Giles / Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

39. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

40. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)

41. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

42. Rasiel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

43. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)

44. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

45. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

46. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays) Currently on DL

47. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies) Currently on DL

48. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

49. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)


Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals)

Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins) OUT FOR THE SEASON

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)


– The big news in the closing world is the long-time-coming removal of Trevor Rosenthal. The reports are that Matheny is going to be going to a committee, which is pretty terrible fantasy-wise. I, like many others, expect that Seung Hwan Oh to take the position after showing he is the best of the pack. Kevin Siegrist already blew a save in his first outing after Rosenthal’s removal, which was a game tying home run in the 6th inning. With that, I think its safe to say that Oh should have a first crack at the job over Jonathan Broxton as well, but everything is still uncertain. The trio finds themselves in the third tier for now. Oh would see a bump if he takes the job himself.

– I bumped up Jeurys Familia back into the top tier. He was the only closer to record 4 saves in the last week and did so without a run over his four outings. Leading the majors in saves and with an elite rotation to provide him with tight games, Familia is an elite option.

– I’m having a hard time trusting Craig Kimbrel to be a steady source of saves on the Boston squad with such a potent offense behind him. He also has a terrible track record of being a whole different pitcher, and a worse one, when he isn’t in a save situation. He’ll hover around the top of tier two for this week.

AJ Ramos got the credit he deserves this week, making it into the second tier. He’s been great for the red hot Marlins, who have been winning games and getting him save chances. Especially in the NL Easy, Ramos looks to be like a closer you want to own.

– I like what I saw from Santiago Casilla, over the last week. He’s picked up the pace and his strike out numbers are up, also the Giants are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and I only expect them to get better as the season progresses.  

– I told you not to look, Fernando Rodney gave up his first run on the day I posted my blurb about how unlikely it was for his scoreless streak to keep up. A pat on the back for me, and a small bump for Rodney; he’s solid but the Padres are not going to get him the save chances you might want from a pitcher who is throwing at his level. 

Jonathan Papelbon who is on the DL with an Intercostal Strain, threw a rehab outing Monday and will do so again tomorrow. If all goes well he should be ready to join the Nationals and reclaim the closing role. Sean Kelley will then drop off the list.

That sums it up for this week on Closing Time. Be sure to give me a follow and ask me questions @Just_In_Relief. Look out for my next article on Thursday and as always feel free to leave your questions, comments and concerns down below – I’ll be sure to respond. 

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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