Closing Time 6/12: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday
Light pink row designates Closer By Committee
It feels like every time I start to gain some confidence in Ken Giles, I’m immediately let down as either he implodes on cue or A.J. Hinch decides to try out someone new in the 9th inning or some combination of both. This week it’s the combo option, as both Giles struggled and Hector Rondon has shot on to the scene to secure the Astro’s last three save chances, converting each one fairly easily. Hinch has hinted at it just being temporary, and just riding the hot hand which is Rondon, but the fact that this is even coming up again is certainly discouraging. If Hinch were forced to answer who will finish the year with the most saves, I’m sure Giles would be his answer, but as much as I’d like to believe that, at this point, it’s really tough to trust anything that happens with this bullpen. Expect them to be heavy in the reliever market near the deadline and I don’t usually like to speculate but I’m fully buying into them landed a talented lefty in either the Zach Britton or Brad Hand mold.
- In other committee news, both Blake Parker and Ryan Tepera are moving up the board as both are looking safe for the time being as their respective team’s closers. Neither faces any real stiff competition, and I can’t imagine Roberto Osuna will be active anytime soon (maybe September?). Joakim Soria has regained the role he started the season with and has been excellent since doing so. My moneys still on him losing that job at some point, probably in the not too distant future. Chaz Roe was able to secure the Rays latest save chance and seems like the favorite for the time being for whatever that is worth. The Phillies bullpen situation is still very much a mess, with about five or six relievers all looking at seeing time in the 9th inning it feels like.
- On the injury front, Zach Britton returned last night and while he won’t be thrown right back into the closer’s role, it should happen relatively quickly after he dominated his rehab. The Orioles will certainly try to boost his trade value as well, so I’d imagine he’ll be used often as long as he is looking healthy and back to form. Jeurys Familia was also placed on the DL last Friday with shoulder soreness, and while that’s never something you want to hear for a pitcher, it sounds like it’s of the minor variety. For now, Anthony Swarzak and Robert Gsellman will fill in as the Mets closer, with Swarzak getting the first crack Sunday. He’s worth a look if you are desperate for saves in the short term.
- While Joakim Soria led the week by himself with 4 saves (yes, that really happened), Hector Rondon, Blake Parker, Cody Allen, Edwin Diaz and Aroldis Chapman all wound up with 3 saves a piece.