Closing Time 8/31: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's closers for the 2021 season.

Tyler Clippard could be someone who is likely still sitting on your waiver wire (just 19% rostered in Yahoo leagues) who could help in the short term for saves. For those desperate to win this week and next, Clippard makes for an intriguing investment as the team gets the Mariners twice and Rangers once (albeit for eight games total). However, after that, things get dicey as they have five series against playoff teams through the end of September. It’s worth mentioning that Noé Ramirez added a save this past week and would be the best bet to replace Clippard, should he falter, at this point.




  • After tier three, it’s basically time to just throw darts I feel. The Cardinals removed Alex Reyes from the closer role and plan to go with a committee approach based on matchups, with Giovanny Gallegos picking up the first save last night. While Reyes has struggled recently, he’s had a great season and could work his way back into the conversation. Génesis Cabrera should also be in the mix for left-handed heavy parts of the lineup.
  • Joe Barlow returned from the injured list and stepped right back into the closer role, picking up his third save of the season last night. There’s no real competition for him in that role going forward, but the Rangers do have a tough playoff schedule (OAK, HOU, CWS, NYY) with the exception of a series with the Orioles.


  • Adam Ottavino has recorded two saves over the last week as he replaces Matt Barnes who not only was removed from the closer role, but also landed on the COVID IL. There’s certainly a chance Ottavino doesn’t look back here and finishes the season as the Red Sox closer. However, despite all of Barnes’s issues, I still see him as the best option for the Red Sox as long as he is healthy.
  • Andrew Chafin and Sergio Romo have each added a save this past week as Lou Trivino has been removed from the A’s closer role. There’s likely to be some sort of committee between those two and possibly Jake Diekman going forward, but Chafin to me presents the best option.


  • Andrew Kittredge picked up a pair of two-inning saves this past week, which is great but that came before Pete Fairbanks and J.P. Feyereisen returned from the IL. Nick Anderson and Matt Wisler are also due back in the next week, so speculate at your own risk here.
  • Ian Kennedy is hanging onto the closer role in Philadelphia by a thread at this point, with one more poor outing possibly being the end of the line. Kennedy has a 6.30 ERA over his first ten innings with the Phillies.


  • The Reds continue to mix up their late-inning looks on a week-to-week basis, but it appears Mychal Givens may have surpassed Michael Lorenzen again on the depth chart. While those two are the favorites for saves going forward, it’s worth mentioning Lucas Sims has put together three perfect outings in a row while striking out four.
  • Carlos Estévez seems to have overtaken Daniel Bard as the Rockies closer and while there is a lot to like in Estévez’s profile, he’s been far too inconsistent at this point in his career/season to trust in Coors.
Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Ryan Pressly-
4Raisel Iglesias-
5Edwin Díaz-
6Kenley Jansen
7Emmanuel Clase-
8Jordan Romano-
9Aroldis Chapman
10Will Smith-
11Jake McGee-
12Mark Melancon-
13Paul Sewald
14Giovanny Gallegos+UR
15Scott Barlow+1
16David Bednar+1
17Joe Barlow+UR
18Adam Ottavino+UR
19Andrew Chafin+UR
20Gregory Soto+1
21Andrew Kittredge
22Ian Kennedy-4
23Mychal Givens+UR
24Kyle Finnegan-2
25Alex Colomé-2
26Dylan Floro-
27Tyler Clippard-2
28Carlos Estévez+UR
29Rowan Wick
30Cole Sulser-


Stash List


Photo by Bob Kupbens/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.

2 responses to “Closing Time 8/31: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. BB says:

    Though the Cub’s situation is obviously messy, it’s a bit surprising to see Wick still listed here, as he hasn’t pitched past the seventh inning yet.

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