Closing Time 5/21: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Rank Change Pitcher Previous Next In Line
Josh Hader 1 Junior Guerra
Edwin Diaz 2 Robert Gsellman
Kirby Yates 4 Craig Stammen
Kenley Jansen 3 Pedro Baez
Aroldis Chapman 6 Zack Britton
Roberto Osuna 7 Ryan Pressly
Felipe Vazquez 8 Kyle Crick
Blake Treinen 5 Lou Trivino
Brad Hand 10 Nick Wittgren
Sean Doolittle 9 Wander Suero
Ken Giles 12 Joe Biagini
Will Smith 13 Sam Dyson
Jordan Hicks 11 John Brebbia
Hector Neris 15 Pat Neshek
Raisel Iglesias 16 Michael Lorenzen
Wade Davis 17 Carlos Estevez
Shane Greene 14 Joe Jimenez
Greg Holland 18 Archie Bradley
Alex Colome 19 Kelvin Herrera
Steve Cishek 20 Brandon Kintzler
Hansel Robles 22 Ty Buttrey
Luke Jackson 21 Sean Newcomb
Jose Alvarado UR Diego Castillo
Matt Barnes UR Ryan Brasier
Blake Parker 25 Taylor Rogers
Shawn Kelley UR Jose Leclerc
Roenis Elias 29 Brandon Brennan
Mychal Givens 26 Shawn Armstrong
Sergio Romo 27 Tayron Guerrero
Ian Kennedy 30 Scott Barlow

Light pink row designates Closer By Committee

  • A bunch of minor changes this week, but nothing too drastic. Tier 4 once again is the committee tier, but I think there’s a strong case to be made that all 8 names need to be owned. The Rays’ situation didn’t get any clearer this past week, with Jose Alvarado seeing 2 save chances (and blowing his first one) to Diego Castillo‘s 1. Castillo has earned 4 holds to just 1 save the past two weeks, with his last outing coming in a 6th inning meltdown in New York. It looks like things could be shifting back towards Alvarado’s favor despite having just one save in over two months. That being said, don’t be surprised to see Emilio Pagan jump back into the conversation, as he’s been their best reliever over the past month.
  • It’s been exactly a month now since Ryan Brasier’s last save, and it now seems like the Sox are going to be using a bigger committee approach in the 9th than previously believed. Matt Barnes is the temporary favorite for saves, but the team prefers bringing him into the 7th or 8th to face the opposing team’s best hitters. Despite the amazing ratios, he still only has three saves, and just two over the past month. The team is getting hot right now and blowing out a lot of their competition, but they will soon find themselves in some save situations, so hold tight on Barnes, and Brasier too if you have the room. Even in deeper leagues, it may be worth taking a flier on Brandon Workman, whose terrible BB rate has been on the decline this month.
  • Nothing has changed in Minnesota, as it still looks like a 70/30 split between Blake Parker and Tyler Rogers. Parker’s peripherals are really concerning (low K rate, BABIP, high LOB, xFIP/SIERA), however, so proceed with caution going forward with him. Too bad they traded away Ryan Pressly for next to nothing.
  • Shawn Kelley returns today and that’s all fine and dandy—he is worth owning in most leagues for the time being—but I think it’s time to start hyping up Jose Leclerc again. His last three outings have been what we had always hoped for with Leclerc, with a 10/0 K/BB, 0 H and 0 R allowed over 4.1 innings. It’s tough to get excited about a three-game sample, but we can still call it a trend, and it’d going in the right direction. I’m still sticking with my late-May, early-June timeline for him to regain the closer role, and with his buy low window is coming to a close, the time is now to add him where available.
  • Despite not factoring into the save situation much lately, Anthony Swarzak was traded from Seattle to Atlanta yesterday, where he will likely work in a middle relief role for the time being. Seattle now turns to Roenis Elias, I suppose, as their closer, and while he’s been decent, I still don’t see a ton of long term value here. In 12 teamers where saves are hard to come by, sure, he’s worth a shot, but if you can get anything of value in a trade for him, go for it.
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.




I know it happened late last night, but with Newcomb earning the save for the Braves, even though Jackson didn’t pitch the day before, what do the tea leaves say here? Newcomb has looked solid out of the pen.

Rick Graham

I’m still leaning towards this being Jacksons job to lose as he’s been awesome all year despite the hiccup Saturday. The Giants had two lefties due up in the 9th so maybe they liked the matchup better for Newcomb while also being able to afford Jackson some extra rest. That said, I do like what Newcombs been able to do out of the pen for the Braves and wouldn’t rule him out as a potential closer candidate at some point this season.


Believe in Neris this much? Does Kapler worry you with giving Neshek saves when Neris was rested, and just his past usage in general? Got the option of grabbing him or stashing Leclerc but im looking for the best option ROS so I leaned Leclerc

Rick Graham

ROS I’d take Leclerc, but I’d still want Neris as well. When available, he’s getting the 9th inning work and has great ratio’s and K numbers to match.


My main closer is Green, then I have castillo, jackson, robles. Leclerc, Cishek and Barnes are available on the waiver. Would you suggest any changes? Thanks much, great column!

Rick Graham

I’d try to trade Greene for another need and add Leclerc. As far as add/drops go, I might swap Castillo for Leclerc but you may want to wait and see what happens this week.


Deep league and I’m speculating for saves down the line. Do you have any recommended stashes w/ the trade deadline coming up? RPs like Familia, Gsellman, Dyson, Minter, Lorenzen, Barraclough, Hirano, Soria, Joe Kelly, Oberg, Cimber, etc. are available.

Rick Graham

Minter probably has a chance to work his way back into the role. Dyson would likely take over if Smiths traded. Maybe a Wander Suero in WAS or Barlow in KC are worth a stash. Hirano or Yoan Lopez in ARZ.


You think Jeffress gets the job at some point? Or are they going with Hader the rest of the year?


With COL’s Davis hitting the IL, can you speak to why you think Estevez has the edge on saves over Oberg in the interim?

Rick Graham

It looks like it’s going to be Oberg. I wasn’t expecting Davis to hit the IL today or else I would have stuck with Oberg as the handcuff probably, but the way he and Estevez have pitched lately, I thought Estevez was the better longterm handcuff. But for now, it’s Oberg.

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