Closing Time 9/20: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday
It appears as though Aroldis Chapman is over his mid-late August hiccups and is heading back towards elite closer territory. I was sold on the idea that Joe Girardi should keep Chapman in a middle relief or set-up role until late September and admit I was completely wrong and Girardi was right. He was forced to bail out embattled set-up man Dellin Betances on Monday night and earned a key 5 out save for the Yankees. If only the Yankees could have gotten consistent production from both Betances and Chapman at the same time this season, maybe they would be in 1st place in the AL East. It certainly has felt that when one is succeeding the other is failing (or injured) all year. Anyway the point is, guys with Chapman and Betances skill sets don’t just sharply decline at this stage of their career and almost always bounce back eventually.
TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U
1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Tony Watson
2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Addison Reed, Matt Barnes
- More of the same from this group again this week. Corey Knebel continues to be dominant and a major reason the Brewers are still in the playoff race. He is looking like a sure-fire top 5 closer heading into next season.
TIER 2: Save Tonight
4. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)—David Robertson, Dellin Betances
5. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)—Daniel Hudson, Joaquin Benoit
7. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)—Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson
8. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop
9. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith
10. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick Vincent, Emilio Pagan
11. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)—Kirby Yates, Phil Maton
12. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Adam Ottavino, Jake McGee
13. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Tommy Hunter, Brad Boxberger
14. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Michael Lorenzen, Kevin Shackelford
15. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)—Cam Bedrosian, Yusmeiro Petit
- Greg Holland has strung together 8 consecutive solid outings now and is definitely a safe option for fantasy owners for the final 2 weeks of the season. The Rockies face the Giants and Padres this week, so there should be some save chances for him in what is the biggest week of the fantasy baseball season.
- The Angels closing situation is slowly becoming less of a mystery with it looking like Blake Parker is the primary option now. He’ll probably lose out on a save or two to someone else in that bullpen but looks like a quality option moving forward for an Angels team fighting for their playoff lives still.
TIER 3: Bound for the Floor
16. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan Tepera, Dominic Leone
18. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)—Brad Brach, Mychal Givens
19. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)—Jose Ramirez, A.J. Minter
20. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)—Paul Sewald, Jerry Blevins
21. Matt Belisle (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger
24. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Luis Garcia, Victor Arano
25. Blake Treinen (Oakland Athletics)—Santiago Casilla, Ryan Dull
26. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin
27. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Drew VerHagen
- Roberto Osuna returned to the team last Friday after a 10 day layoff and earned his 36th save. He has had his ups and downs (10 blown saves lead the league) but when he is going well, he is one of the best late inning relievers in baseball. He’s worth starting this week given the potential upside he can provide.
- It had looked like Juan Nicasio was taking over as the Cardinals closer a week ago, but he has yet to be used in a save situation since then. That’s probably because they haven’t had a need for a closer in that time frame, but still, I am somewhat skeptical as to how that bullpen will play out the rest of the year. Nicasio is still the guy to own, but don’t be surprised to see Tyler Lyons vulture a save or two.
TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)
28. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)—Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider
29. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox)—Gregory Infante, Danny Farquhar
- Mike Minor seems to most likely be the primary closing option for the Royals the rest of the season and makes for an interesting add in leagues if you are looking for an extra save or two. He’s nothing special and won’t be much help in the WHIP or K categories, but you’d only be using him in hopes of a save or two anyway. Scott Alexander or Joakim Soria would be the likely other options, with Brandon Maurer and Kelvin Herrera comfortably on the struggle bus.