Closing Time 7/12: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

After a shortened week, there are just a few changes at the bottom and the top of the list, with much of the middle staying in tact post All-Star game. Looking at...

After a shortened week, there are just a few changes at the bottom and the top of the list, with much of the middle staying in tact post All-Star game. Looking at the AL East relievers, Craig Kimbrel and Roberto Osuna continued their steady runs of dominance, while the other 3, Zach BrittonAroldis Chapman and Alex Colome underwhelmed again this week. It’s really a group that could be interchangeable 2-5 for the rest of the year (Colome was a legitimate top 10 option at one point too).

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Sergio Romo

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Matt BarnesJoe Kelly

3. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes

4. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)—Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard

5. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)—Mychal GivensBrad Brach

  • Roberto Osuna probably deserved to be in this tier before now, but after another dominant week, he is definitely looking like the 2nd best closer in the AL East to own. His command and swing and miss ability has been at an all time high this season, so there is no reason to believe he will drop off in the second half.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

6. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino

7. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr., Koji Uehara

8. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)—Will HarrisChris Devenski

9. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)—Juan Nicasio, Daniel Hudson  

10. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)—Jacob BarnesCarlos Torres

11. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen

12. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick Vincent, Tony Zych

13. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw

14. Addison Reed (New York Mets)—Fernando Salas, Paul Sewald

15. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Shane Green  

  • Of course right after I talk up Corey Knebelhe happens to go through the worst 2 weeks of his season so far. The K’s are still there, and he only allowed 4 earned runs (3 coming from that devastating walk off blast by Clint Frazier) but the walk totals are certainly becoming a concern (9 walks in his last 5 outings). If he can tighten up his control going forward, he should still be a top 10 option.
  • After hitting a little rough patch a few weeks ago, Justin Wilson has settled down nicely and been one of the better RP’s lately. He’s been so good this year, there are closer needy teams rumored to have interest in adding him at the deadline. A move to the Nationals could make him a mainstay in the top 15.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

16. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)—Joakim SoriaMike Minor 

17. Bud Norris (Los Angeles Angels)—Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian, David Hernandez

18. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox)—Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak 

19. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Brad BoxbergerTommy Hunter 

20. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)—Kyle BarracloughDavid Phelps

21. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor Rogers, Matt Belisle 

22. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek

23. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres)—Brad HandPhil Maton 

24. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)—Trevor Rosenthal, Brett Cecil

25. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)—Jose Leclerc, Alex Claudio

  • Good news for Bud Norris owners this week, as he earned 2 saves this past week. He has his job back, possibly for the rest of the season depending on what the Angels do at the deadline. Cam Bedrosian has been solid in the month of July so far, but still seems like a longshot to regain his closers gig barring a trade or injury.
  • Brandon Maurer has looked very good this last few weeks, and his 1.16 WHIP on the season is something to give owners hope, despite the 5.60 ERA. He has a sneaky 19 saves, and doesn’t appear in danger of losing his job at any moment.

TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)

26. Santiago Casilla (Oakland Athletics)—Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson

27. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)—Jose Ramirez, Jason Motte

28. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)—Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin  

29. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Hunter Strickland, George Kontos

30. Enny Romero/Matt Albers (Washington Nationals)—Blake Treinen, Joe Blanton

  • Whereas I see top flight potential in both Matt Bush and Seung Hwan Oh situations, the 5 guys on this list don’t carry a whole heck of a lot. Santiago Casilla seems to be the top dog in Oakland, but he’ll never be someone to get excited about owning. Jim Johnson is blowing saves left and right and probably would be out as the teams closer if Arodys Vizcaino were healthy. Fernando Rodney reverted back to what we all were expecting. Sam Dyson has been solid so far for the Giants, but he needs to prove it for another few weeks before he can be a trustworthy option. The Nationals just seem done with using a closer for the time being.

Disabled List

Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

Koda Glover (Washington Nationals)

Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

Joe Smith (Toronto Blue Jays)

Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins

Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)

Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

Shawn Kelley (Washington Nationals)

Carson Smith (Boston Red Sox)

Jake Diekman (Texas Rangers)

Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

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.

4 responses to “Closing Time 7/12: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday”

  1. eugene purdy says:

    I have three relievers, Osuna, Brach and Oh. Oh has been sitting on the bench (Severino filled his spot) for a few weeks because he has been inconsistent in both save opportunities and reliability. Since my league uses holds as a category, hanging on to Brach makes sense, but with Brittion “back” I really only have one trustworthy RP. AJ Ramos (Dyson too) is sitting on waivers. Drop Oh for Ramos or sit tight? I am 2nd in saves in a roto league.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Leaning towards Ramos. If you are 2nd in saves, and holds are a category, if you needs holds help maybe you’d be better off going with an elite holds option also.

  2. M says:

    Always like the list. Any chance of you/Nick (?) putting together some GIF highlights of Felipe Rivero? He has only been closing for a month and seems underappreciated. Thanks.

  3. Rick Graham says:

    Funny you should mention that. Rivero K’ing Travis Shaw to end the game was featured on GIFS of the night today. Nasty slider. Sure we will see more of his stuff going forward.

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