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Closing Time 4/28: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Thursday

Welcome to Closing Time where the Top 45 Closers are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Mixture of short and long term value with...

Welcome to Closing Time where the Top 45 Closers are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the long haul. More importance is placed on general ability than projected save totals within specific tiers. 

Share your questions and critiques in the comments. Follow me on twitter @HisDudenessOfNY for the rare tweet regarding secondary players most people don’t care about and the occasional timely injury news snippet. 

TIER 1

1A. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

1B. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals)

TIER 2

3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

4. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

5. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

6. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

TIER 3

7. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates)

8. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox)

9. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

10. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

11. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

TIER 4A

12. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)

13. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

14. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

15. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

16. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals)

17. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers)

TIER 4B

18. Shawn Tolleson (Texas Rangers)

19. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants)

20. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks)

21. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers)

TIER 4C

22. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

23. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics)

24. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners)

25. Fernando Rodney (San Diego Padres)

26. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

27. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies)

TIER 5

28. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

29. Kevin Jepsen (Minnesota Twins

30. Joe Smith (Los Angeles Angels)

31. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

32-33. Tony Cingrani, Caleb Cotham, Ross Ohlendorf (Cincinnati Reds)

TIER 6 – Speculative

35. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

36. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers)

37. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

38. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

39. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

TIER 7 – Super Speculative. Better off streaming in most leagues. Reference The Hold Up for potential streams when a closer is resting. A more comprehensive next in line list will be included next Thursday. 

40. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

41. Tyler Clippard (Arizona Diamondbacks)

42. Nick Vincent (San Diego Padres)

43. Trevor May (Minnesota Twins)

44. Drew Storen (Toronto Blue Jays)

45. Mark Lowe (Detroit Tigers)

INJURED

Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins)

NOTES

– Hope you night owls were able to snag Joe Smith, as Huston Street is headed to the DL with an oblique strain. Smitty had a rough stretch the middle of April but he has settled down since and is the long standing 2nd in line for the Angels. Street said this is his first oblique strain so we don’t really know what to expect. 

Aroldis Chapman’s suspension is coming to a close within two weeks. In the end he’ll still finish with more Ks than almost every other reliever and while Andrew Miller is a very legitimate closer I believe Aroldis will take the reins and be the official shutdown arm. 

Jeurys Familia is finally starting to settle in. I have been bullish on him and that filth sinker since day one and nothing has changed. Mets will have a ton of save opps and Familia is a moose who will finish with a ton of quality innings for a reliever.

A.J. Ramos still hasn’t let up any runs and continues to trend up. Miami is somewhat underrated and that is a great pitcher’s park.

– The more time passes the farther Ken Giles seems to be from taking the 9th from Luke Gregerson

– The Braves are bad and Arodys Vizcaino isn’t getting any saves, but he is still pitching well and the opportunities will come.

Shawn Tolleson starting to roll. Keone Kela is out of the picture and Sam Dyson is coming off a rough outing. Looks like Tolly’s job security is looking more secure. 

– Unfortunately Santiago Casilla is also pitching well while Hunter Strickland hasn’t been particularly dominant. Speculative save avenue cooling down a bit there as well. 

– Wouldn’t bet my life on it but I still think that Alex Colome keeps the job even when Brad Boxberger returns. Box threw a 25 pitch bullpen session yesterday, and is expected to join the bullpen in mid-May. 

Sean Doolittle may see the occasional save but Ryan Madson is the guy and continues to pitch excellently. 

Jake McGee starting to crumble a bit. Fastball lost a little mph and as always pitching in Colorado sucks.

Steve Cishek and Fernando Rodney are still doing work. 

Jeanmar Gomez hasn’t done anything to lose the job but Hector Neris is turning heads. Batters hit .056 against the split-finger last year but it was his 3rd most thrown pitch. This season he is throwing it about half the time. 

– Cincinnati’s bullpen is in shambles, I dumped all my Tony Cingrani, and Caleb Cotham shares. Saves are scarce in Cincy and they are all going to hurt your ratios. Ross Ohlendorf has emerged as the dark horse but I’m not really interested in him either.

Glen Perkins is supposedly improving but still isn’t throwing. Kevin Jepsen hit a bumpy patch but he looks strong and I don’t think we need to consider Trevor May yet. Before the season started I predicted Perkins would deteriorate physically and I have minimal trust in him returning to form.

– Save speculation has quieted down a bit. I’m rolling out Kelvin Herrera, Nate Jones, Pedro Strop, and the like in daily rotos instead of gambling on the Cincy situation and in an effort to not go all in on Hunter Strickland and co.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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