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Closing Time 4/19: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

We are barely one week into the season and we already have our first big closer injury to report, with Ryan Pressly placed on the IL with right knee inflammation. While the Astros hope it will be a short term thing, we should keep in mind that this knee has given him issues in the past, leading to Pressly getting surgery back in 2019, so there may be some long-term concerns here if the knee keeps acting up. In the meantime, Héctor Neris should be considered the favorite to take over as the Astros closer, and he was the one to get the ball in the ninth yesterday (albeit up five runs). I’ve always been a Neris fan, and even if Pressly returns in the next week or two, it may be worth holding onto Neris for a while just until we see how Pressly’s knee holds up after he returns as it sounds like it could be a lingering issue.

 

Notes

 

  • With Josh Staumont getting a save over Scott Barlow this past weekend, it appears we may be headed towards some sort of closer committee in KC. I don’t see this as the time to rush out and add Staumont, who has just been OK to begin this season (and much of last year). If there is some sort of timeshare here, I’d still expect Barlow to see around 70% of the saves, at least, but with Mike Matheny, these things could chance quickly for no apparent reason.
  • Tanner Rainey appears to be the sole closer in Washington for now, with Kyle Finnegan imploding over the weekend only helping to strengthen Rainey’s grip on the role. Rainey hasn’t pitched in a week now as the Nationals have struggled to win games, but it was good to see his velocity back up closer to what we’ve seen in the past during his last outing. I think if anyone is a threat to Rainey at this point, it’s likely Sean Doolittle, who has started off the year hot and obviously has closer experience from his previous tenure in Washington.

 

  • The Giants continue to be a mystery when it comes to their bullpen, but Camilo Doval seems to be gaining momentum in taking over (back?) the closer role. His last couple of outings have gone better than his debut, and he leads the team in saves with two. Jake McGee and others still linger, and Gabe Kapler isn’t afraid to make a quick switch should Doval have a bad outing.
  • The Cincinnati Reds closer situation remains fluid, but again, that could and should change once Lucas Sims returns this weekend. There aren’t a lot of options for the team to turn to, so it’s worth stashing Sims and Art Warren until we get some more clarity.

 

  • The Red Sox closer carousel continues as Hansel Robles is the latest to record a save for the team. He probably makes the most sense in the short term for the team, with Jake Diekman mixing in as well, but I’m sure the they are still holding out hope Matt Barnes gets right soon.
  • With Lou Trivino landing on the COVID IL, look for Dany Jiménez to fill in as the teams closer for the next week or so. Jiménez has gotten off to a nice start this season, but isn’t worth the add in most leagues right now.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Raisel Iglesias-
4Edwin Díaz
T2
-
5Craig Kimbrel-
6Jordan Romano+2
7Emmanuel Clase-
8Taylor Rogers
T3
+1
9Kenley Jansen+1
10Giovanny Gallegos+2
11Aroldis Chapman
T4
-
12Corey Knebel+2
13Mark Melancon+2
14Scott Barlow
T5
-1
15Paul Sewald+2
16Andrew Kittredge-
17Gregory Soto+1
18David Bednar+1
19Anthony Bender+2
20Tanner Rainey+5
21Camilo Doval+3
22Jhoan Duran+1
23Art Warren-1
24Joe Barlow+2
25David Robertson
T6
+2
26Daniel Bard+3
27Jorge López+1
28Héctor Neris
T7
+UR
29Hansel Robles+UR
30Dany Jiménez+UR

 

Watch List

 

Photo by All-Pro Reels (https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeglo/) | 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.

  • Bardon me? says:

    Is Daniel bard so low because he pitches at Coors? He had like 5 saves so far so curious on why he was so low despite him being the solid closer for Rockies. I know I don’t expect them to keep winning games after their hot start but it does make me think something like Wade Davis when he had a ton of saves (and a good amount of BS) with the Rockies.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Colorado, recent history, job security and potential to be traded all have him a bit lower on the list. This early in the season would prefer to take a chance on one of the younger, higher upside options listed before him (in say a deeper Roto league though, Bard may be more valuable).

  • Steve says:

    Is Sewald really the top closer option in Seattle? Steckenrider and Castillo have saves, Sewald doesn’t up to now. If he really is the closer, should he be rated this high?

    • Rick Graham says:

      I’m still viewing it as a 33% timeshare between the 3, but Sewald’s strikeout upside and ratio help gives him the edge. If you only care about saves from your RP’s, then you’d probably prefer a Bard or Robertson, but if you are in head to head or points leagues, Sewald is the better option.

  • PitcherList Superfan says:

    Rick, given the latest usage in the Royals bullpen, should we be dropping Scott Barlow for Staumont?

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