Closing Time 5/7: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

[closing_time_2019 list_id=”30954″ include_stats=”1″]

  • Hector Neris has firmly established himself as the Phillies closer at this point, and I can’t see David Robertson‘s eventual return changing anything. Robertson was being used strictly in the 8th inning of games prior to his injury, so it’s safe to pick up Neris where he’s still available. In addition to plenty of save chances, he should rack up a ton of strikeouts and help with low ratios, as long as he keeps the ball in the yard.
  • There still isn’t much clarity in the Rays closer position, but Diego Castillo is probably the favorite right now. I’m not sure if Jose Alvarado is dealing with some injury or what the deal is but he only pitched 0.2 innings this past week and 2.1 over the past two weeks. They could just be limiting his innings but at this point, but it feels pretty extreme to only use your best reliever for just over two innings in two weeks. I still think Alvarado is worth holding for now, but make sure you own Castillo as well.
  • Luke Jackson picked up his second save of the year Sunday night and did so comfortably, putting more pressure on A.J. Minter for the Braves’ closer job. Minter had pitched the night before and may have been unavailable for that game, but it’s still a bit concerning he couldn’t pitch in back-to-back games. The good news is Minter has seemed to find himself the past two outings, working 2 innings, allowing 0 baserunners and adding 5 K’s. Jackson has been great, but I think it’s a matter of time until we see Minter closing out games again.
  • How long will Shawn Kelley be closing out games in Texas? That still likely all depends on Jose Leclerc. Kelley’s been great this year, but Leclerc’s the guy once the team feels he’s worked out his issues. He worked the 7th inning of a 3-run game this past Saturday and had a clean 1-2-3 outing with 2 K’s and picked up his first hold of the year. My guess is he’ll be back closing out games by late May or early June.
  • Cody Allen is set to come off the IL today, but it doesn’t sound like he will be reinserted back into the closer role anytime soon. Unlike Leclerc, Allen is on a one-year deal and not the Angels “closer of the future,” so it could be a while for him to get the job back, if he ever does. For now, it still seems like Hansel Robles will handle the bulk of the save chances, with Ty Buttrey mixing in every now and then.

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 Jim says:

    Isn’t it completely plausible that the Braves will go to a committee to limit Minter’s use and possibly explore Jackson as a closer?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      100%. I just still think their best bet is for Minter to regain his form since he’s proven to have the most upside of the lot.

  • Avatar LeftCoastYankee says:

    Would you drop Leclerc for Diego Castillo?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Tough one since both make good stashes, but I think I’d sit tight. Castillo may be the better bet for the next month, but I still like Leclerc longterm.

  • Avatar stevek says:

    Hi Rick – need to pick up a 3rd closer and this is who is available: Romo, LeClerc, Strop, Castillo, Allen, Givens, Rogers, Minter, Robles, Swarzek. Who should I go with?

  • Avatar Swfcdan says:

    Reason for dropping Iggy quite so much? Know he’s been off and the Reds haven’t won much lately, but save opps can come along in bunches for closers. Maybe they’ll use him less in non-save situations after his outburst!

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