Welcome to Closing Time where the Top 45 Closers are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the long haul.
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11. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
12. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)
14. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)
16. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
22. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers)
24. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)
27. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies)
35. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)
– What the hell is going to happen in the Bronx when Aroldis Chapman returns? My money’s on Aroldis taking over for the spectacular Andrew Miller but things could get ugly. Maybe Miller holds on for a bit, maybe Aroldis has a short leash and an unlucky rough patch leads to a committee.
– Cody Allen hits another bumpy patch and while I have been slightly more bearish on Cody than others since the pre-season, deep down I think he’ll hold on to the job and finish the season with quality numbers.
– Finally starting to give Santiago Casilla some love. My knock on Casilla was his age, lack of wow factor, and because of the elite setup men nipping at his heels. Sergio Romo hurt, Hunter Strickland struggling, but Casilla has done nothing but dominate.
– Smart money was not on Steve Cishek or Fernando Rodney but the bounceback campaigns are going swimmingly. Their rankings are a bit more volatile than others but until they give us a reason to worry you have to appreciate the production.
– I wanted to believe in Francisco Rodriguez and Jonathan Papelbon but the end is on the horizon. Papelbon’s Swinging Strike % has plummeted to ~8.00%, O-Swing % is down, Contact on pitches inside and outside the zone are up. He isn’t walking guys and the BABIP is a bit inflated but he doesn’t have it anymore. K-Rod’s troubles with the long ball persist, the K/BB is fugly, and he is getting less groundballs.
– Starting to sound like a broken record but I still think Alex Colome keeps the job when Brad Boxberger returns. Boxberger will begin his rehab assignment in about a week.
– Jake McGee has security but it seems like the injury freckled past, and pitching in Colorado, has chipped away at his value.
– Brad Ziegler still hasn’t blown any saves, and his BABIP is fairly inflated, but Zona is scuffling and Daniel Hudson + Tyler Clippard are doing their thing. Hudson’s numbers are gorgeous but Clippard has closing experience. Still believe Ziegler will settle down but in the end he is on a contract year and my gut says he ends up on a new team. Maybe that means there is a shorter leash.
– Jeanmar Gomez finally blew a save yesterday but Tyler Goeddel actually helped Hector Neris out in the 8th by robbing Gyorko of a bomb.The fantasy world has hopped on the Hector Neris bandwagon and while he appears to be the best reliever in the Philly pen that doesn’t necessarily mean he will get the job because $.
– Felipe Rivero isn’t really being used in high leverage situations but I think he gets the job over Blake Treinen if Paps collapses.