Closing Time 4/26: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

Liam Hendriks early-season issues continue as he let up a loud walk-off homer to Byron Buxton this past weekend, in which we found out he’s been dealing with a back injury. The injury isn’t considered serious and it doesn’t look like it will land him on the IL but it’s worth monitoring as you may want to add Kendall Graveman in deeper leagues just in case. Hendriks has notoriously struggled in the first month of the season (5.50 ERA over 91.2 IP in March/April over his career) so as long as he is healthy moving forward, there’s no reason to be concerned with his slow start.

 

Notes

 

  • The latest on injured closer Ryan Pressly seems promising, and he should be in line to return at some point this week and throwing a successful bullpen this past weekend. His velo was reportedly up during the bullpen which is great to see as well. That said, I may still hold on to Héctor Neris in leagues where saves are hard to come by, just in case Pressly’s knee issues flare up again being that it’s been a problem for him for 3 years now. EDIT: Neris is back on the list following Pressly’s recent setback.
  • David Robertson and Daniel Bard are a combined 73 years old (soon to be 74) but so far the veteran relievers have been mostly effective in their roles as closers. Robertson especially who has locked up the Cubs’ closer job rather easily. Bard is dealing with a back injury, but it is reportedly minor as well and he should be good to go for the team’s next save appearance.

 

  • It took us a while but we finally were able to land on Emilio Pagán as the Twins’ de facto closer, which was the expectation at the start of the season before Jhoan Duran made things interesting. I still don’t fully trust Pagán in the role (maybe the splitter will be a difference-maker?) so don’t go dropping Duran just yet in deeper leagues, but it feels like Pagán’s role to lose at the moment.
  • Lucas Sims returned this past weekend and already has a save to his name as he closed out the Cardinals on Sunday. Art Warren worked the 8th and this 8th/9th combo feels like the most logical one moving forward for the Reds. Sims velo looks to be a tick down but it’s still early goings for him, and his slider-heavy approach is worth noting.

 

  • The committee closers in Scott Barlow, Paul Sewald (currently on Covid-IL), and Andrew Kittredge move down the list this week but that’s not to say they shouldn’t be rostered in your leagues. In 12-team, non-points leagues, everyone on this list should probably be rostered anyway (plus the top 5-6 on the watch list). In SV+HLD leagues, these three don’t take a hit at all but it doesn’t look like they will be seeing consistent save chances.
  • Matt Barnes may be back in the closer role for the Red Sox and I feel like it may be a bit rushed/forced, and a panic move with Garrett Whitlock entering the rotation. Barnes velo is still way down and contrary to whatever Alex Cora may say, he’s not close to being himself again. I still may consider Barnes if he was dropped in your league, but keep an eye on Hansel Robles still.

 

  • Dany Jiménez has filled in admirably for Lou Trivino, but with Trivino likely back this weekend he’ll probably move back into a setup role. Jiménez’s slider has been great and he was pretty good with the Buffalo last year but the fastball is below average so I feel like it may just be a matter of time before hitters catch on (remember César Valdez?).
  • Dylan Floro’s rehab has started so expect him to return to the Marlins bullpen this weekend perhaps. It’s great timing for himself and the team as they’ve had issues closing out games this season, whether it be Anthony Bender or Tanner Scott. I doubt the team originally had planned for Floro to slide right back into the closer role, but they may not have much of a choice anymore. EDIT: Bender got the save Tuesday night so adding him back for now, but it remains a situation to monitor over the next week.

 

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

 

Watch List

 

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/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.

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