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Closing Time 5/24: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

Kenley Jansen is coming off back to back outings of allowing a run, but I don’t believe there is any reason to panic here. In fact, Jansen has been awesome for the Braves so far, and perhaps a bit underrated by me if I’m being honest. One of the most consistent closers of his generation, his role should be safe going forward as Will Smith has pitched himself out of high leverage situations and Kirby Yates coming back from Tommy John shouldn’t pose much of a threat when he returns in August.

Notes

 

  • With Aroldis Chapman dealing with an Achilles injury, the door is open for Clay Holmes to take over the closer role for the Yankees moving forward. At this point, it’s tough to trust Chapman as you just never know what he’s going to give you on any given night anymore. Holmes on the other hand has been a model of consistency and if he hasn’t already taken over the role, it may just be a matter of time.
  • Giovanny Gallegos has been great this season outside of game against the Mets in April (where he was a Nolan Arenado throw away from converting an easy save), but with how well Ryan Helsley has been throwing the ball too, we may be looking at a timeshare scenario moving forward. I’d still consider Gallegos option 1A for now, but both certainly should be rostered in all leagues, at least until this plays out some more.

 

  • While Lou Trivino has been (mostly) better since his first game back from the Covid IL, it’s become clear that Dany Jiménez is the closer here until further notice. Jiménez for his part hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down, as his May has been just as good as his breakout April. I still have my concerns about his fastball, but as long as the sliders working, there’s nothing to worry about.
  • The Gregory Soto rollercoaster brought us some good fortune over the past week, but I still don’t know what to expect from him going forward given his command issues. While Michael Fulmer is falling out of the picture, the Tigers still do have some relievers worthy of getting a shot at the role in Alex Lange and Will Vest.

 

  • Over his last four outings dating back to May 14th, Matt Barnes has had average fastball velocity readings of 95.6, 95, 94.3 (pitching back to back days) and 95.6. That’s the Matt Barnes of old and certainly an encouraging sign, especially considering they gave him a save chance this Saturday protecting a one run lead. The day after Barnes converted the save, Hansel Robles proceeded to blow his third save of the season. It looks like Barnes will get his job back, if he hasn’t already, and he’s really the only one to get excited about in this bullpen (assuming he is healthy and his normal self).
  • The Reds closer situation remains in flux, but it feels evident that they would like to give the job to Art Warren. Now he just has to pitch well and be more consistent. Warren was a popular sleeper pick this winter and for good reason, but things just haven’t worked out for him to begin the year. Alexis Díaz has been the Reds best reliever but he seems stuck in a set up role for the time being.

 

  • It’s been two weeks since we had any real lead as to who the Marlins closer may be now. I think Anthony Bender has pitched himself out of the conversation and Dylan Floro has not looked good since returning from the IL. That leaves it to Cole Sulser or Anthony Bass (maybe Tanner Scott?) but if I were to guess, Sulser gets the next save chance should one arise this week.
  • Andrew Kittredge landed on the IL this week and while he shouldn’t miss much time, it does open things up a bit for the Rays bullpen I suppose. Jason Adam has pitched well, as has J.P. Feyereisen so those two along with Brooks Raley should be in the mix to close out games, but this is the Rays so who really knows what they will do.

 

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

 

Watch List

 

Photo by David J. Griffin/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.

  • Maher Salfiti says:

    Rick, I have Romano and Rainey as closers, but need more saves. I can drop one of my Holds guys (Loup & Minter). for Raley, Sewald or Adam if it makes sense. Thoughts?

  • Mike Honcho says:

    Looks like Giles is getting ready for a rehab assignment. If all goes well, could we see an end to the committee in SEA?
    Most sites ranking closers never have Staumont in the stack. Is it a foregone conclusion that S.Barlow will eventually claim the role for his own?

  • BB says:

    Think you could argue Jimenez is showing signs of slowing down, with a 4.09 ERA in May (0.00 in April) including four ER in his last two appearances (loss and his first blown save). As for the Rays, don’t forget about Colin Poche, who has two of their last three saves (followed by Feyereisen’s first).

    • BB says:

      Oops, just realized this was the May 24 column – it was linked as May 31 in the daily newsletter.

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