Closing Time 5/14: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

[closing_time_2019 list_id=”31269″ include_stats=”1″]

  • Pedro Strop landed on the IL with a hamstring injury last week, opening up the Cubs closer job to Steve Cishek. Strop wasn’t exactly running away with the job prior to the injury, so now Cishek and his 127 career saves get the chance to. He won’t get a ton of swings and misses but induces plenty of weak contact and still gets the job done more often than not. The Cubs will almost certainly be in the market for a reliever at the deadline, but until they add someone I’d expect Cishek to take control of the 9th.
  • With A.J. Minter out of the picture now, it’s Luke Jackson‘s role to lose going forward it seems. His career numbers aren’t very promising, as he holds a 4.73 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 129.1 IP but so far in 20 innings this season, he’s been able to up the K rate, lower his BB rate and his 13.3% SwStr is also a career high. There’s reason to think these changes could be here to stay as well, with an increase in fastball velocity, while also throwing the pitch much less than normal (down to 33%). He’s upped his slider usage more than 12% from last season, and 20% more than his career average. Despite the positive changes, I’m still skeptical he finishes the year as the team’s closer given the lack of trust in his fastball, but he’s worth owning, for now, to see how things play out.
  • Hansel Robles continues to impress as the Angels closer, and it seems safe to say he’s not in any sort of committee anymore. Will it last remains to be seen as his current 10.42 K/9 and 2.37 BB/9 would be career highs in his 5 MLB season while the arsenal has mostly stayed the same.
  • Chris Martin is currently in the driver’s seat for saves in Texas but I doubt it lasts through the week. Shawn Kelley, who’s dealing with an undisclosed infection, has been throwing and believes he will be activated on Thursday.

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.

  • Avatar Eric says:

    Is Jeffress safe to drop or do we still think he will be the closer at some point?

  • Avatar MookieBestt says:

    I don’t think Swarzak is in the Mariners top 3 options to close right now. The wheels fell off him a couple weeks ago, and he seems to have totally lost the job.

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      I know he’s likely out, but it’s tough to tell who’s actually going to replace him. The Seattle and KC situations are just best to avoid at all costs.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Agreed about the mess. It sounds like you follow the situation – who do you think is the top option or is it just a messy committee?

      • Avatar Rick Graham says:

        Seems like a messy committee. Maybe Gearrin gets a chance? Brennan was good up until the last few weeks but could still be in the mix.

        • Avatar MookieBestt says:

          Its also worth noting Strickland started throwing again this week, its a messy committee that you’d likely be speculating on for a month or less at this point (and the team isn’t winning much lately too). I agree to avoid this one, and I almost always chase cheap saves. Hell, I own Ian Kennedy!

  • Avatar Brett says:

    I still think Alvardo is the man in TB. Castillo has pitched the 8th innings in their last two outings, and Alvardo was warming up for the 9th, until TB pulled away for a bigger lead in the 8th or 9th.

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