Closing Time 8/30: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

While not totally unpredictable, it is still surprising to see the sharp demise of Greg Holland throughout the month of August. Given his frequent usage in the first half of...

While not totally unpredictable, it is still surprising to see the sharp demise of Greg Holland throughout the month of August. Given his frequent usage in the first half of the season, it’s reasonable that the veteran reliever has just ran out of gas here down the stretch after not pitching for an entire year. It’s a bit of shame too, as he was looking like a surefire favorite for comeback player of the year, but this month has seen his ERA on the season skyrocket to 4.00 this past weekend after allowing 14 earned runs over his past 7.1 innings. By default, as the Rockies have now logical alternatives, Holland could hold on to his job, but it’s worth noting that Jake McGee bailed him out Saturday night and could end up mixing in with Holland for save situations moving forward.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Tony Watson

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Addison ReedBrandon Workman

3. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)—Jacob BarnesAnthony Swarzak 

  • Craig Kimbrel had his first blemish in a while, allowing a 2 run HR to Justin Smoak on Monday night to make things interesting before finally shutting the door an earning his 30th save. Oh yea, and it’s probably a bit overdue for Corey Knebel to wind up in this tier. He has basically been Kimbrel minus the great walk rate.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

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

5. Dellin Betances  (New York Yankees)—David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman

6. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)—Joe MusgroveChris Devenski   

7. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)—Brandon Kintzler, Matt Albers

8. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick VincentDavid Phelps

9. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter 

10. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr.Pedro Strop 

11. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan TeperaDanny Barnes 

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

13. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith

14. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)—Kirby YatesPhil Maton  

15. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)—Archie Bradley, David Hernandez

  • Alex Colome has put together a solid 2 weeks as the Rays cling to their playoff lives. He has 5 saves over those 14 days, while striking out 9 and allowing just 4 baserunners. He should continue to be a solid source of saves down the stretch and one of the more dependable options.
  • As I finally move Fernando Rodney up into tier 2, I’d just like to put out this disclaimer that if/when Rodney implodes this week, I shall not be responsible. He has been solid, if unspectacular over the past month, and the random prowess to walk everyone he faces will still loom always, but he is probably still a top 15 option for the fantasy playoffs.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

16. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)—Jim Johnson, Jose Ramirez

17. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)—Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter

18. Blake Treinen  (Oakland Athletics)—Santiago CasillaRyan Dull 

19. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Luis GarciaJesen Therrien 

20. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Joe Jimenez

21. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)—Jose Leclerc, Jason Grilli 

22. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)—Paul Sewald, Jeurys Familia 

23. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor RogersTrevor Hildenberger 

24. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)—Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa    

25. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)—Brad Brach, Mychal Givens

26. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Mark Melancon, Hunter Strickland  

  • Zach Britton has just been really not very good at any point this season. None of his peripherals match up with his past two-year performances and he is almost assuredly dealing with that knee injury more than we know. He will be very tough to trust the rest of the year, and since he brings almost nothing to the table outside of a potential save here and there, I’d consider dropping him. There’s got to be a real chance they just shut him down for the month of September, making Mychal Givens or Brad Brach interesting stashes in deeper leagues.
  • As expected, it doesn’t sound like A.J Ramos will be relinquishing the closer gig to Jeurys Familia anytime soon. The Mets are in no need to rush him back into high leverage situations, but at some point, what is the point of continuing to run him out there still if you won’t use him in the role he will be all but guaranteed to have in 2018 (also applies to Sam Dyson). If owners are banking on Ramos getting them saves at this point, they should definitely stash Familia as well if possible (same goes for the Dyson/Mark Melancon situation).

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

27. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)—Cam Bedrosian, Yusmeiro Petit

28. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)—Tyler Lyons, Matt Bowman

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

30. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox)—Jake Petricka, Gregory Infante

  • It may appear that Blake Parker is running away with the Angels 9th inning job, but knowing Mike Scioscia, it is probably far from a certainty. Still, he is worth a shot for owners desperate for saves.
  • Seung Hwan Oh’s hugely disappointing season continues, and maybe it just comes down to the fact that he is probably just an average talent at best. Tyler Lyons should see save chances soon, but this ultimately feels like an inevitable committee situation for the rest of the year.


Disabled List

Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)

Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

Koda Glover (Washington Nationals)

Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins

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 8/30: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday”

  1. Elston Gunn says:

    I think it’s fair to remove Glen Perkins from the disabled list. Mostly because he’s not on the DL anymore, but also because he’s like 10th in line for saves in Minnesota.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Very true lol. I will miss Perkins consistency in that group, but I guess that’s what Huston Street’s for.

  2. Greatest Game says:

    I’m in a roto league and hold Felipe Rivero as one of my closers. He’s struggled this month with an ERA over 5 and a high WHIP. For the purpose of protecting ratios without sacrificing saves or save opportunities, would you swap him for Brad Hand at this point or stick with Rivero?

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