Closing Time 6/14: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

Corey Knebel has had an up and down 2022 season to this point, and is now dealing with shoulder tightness which is certainly concerning development. He was able to throw Sunday and “felt encouraged” afterward, but given his injury history, I wouldn’t be so sure everything will be fine here. After already making a change at manager, it may be time for more on-the-field changes in Philadelphia anyway. Seranthony Domínguez has been the team’s best reliever this season (it’s not all that close) and I think it’s time for him to be added in any league where saves are tough to come by.

Notes

 

  • Kenley Jansen has bounced back from a bumpy May and already has six saves in June, the same number of saves he totaled in both April and May. The ERA may not look elite, but everything else here is while pitching for one of the best teams in the NL.
  • Gregory Soto has allowed just one earned run while collecting his last nine saves (12.2 IP), but more importantly, he has an 11/2 K/BB rate over that period. Walks and control have always been an issue for Soto so this is certainly a good sign. This positive stretch could help him keep his job if he has a couple of meltdowns in the future.

 

  • Jhoan Duran’s last save came on May 24th, with Emilio Pagán picking up three saves since (two this past week). While it looks like Pagán is the closer for now, I don’t think you need to drop Duran just yet. Pagán is having a nice season, but Duran remains the better talent and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him replace Pagán over the second half of the season.
  • Similarly in Seattle, it looks like Diego Castillo may have overtaken Paul Sewald as the team’s primary closer, as the team prefers being able to use Sewald in different spots depending on the situation. Castillo has pitched better than his numbers show this season and has allowed just one hit over his last nine innings to go with a 15/1 K/BB ratio.

 

  • Tanner Scott is emerging as the Marlins’ closer, but as we’ve come to know with Scott, there is a lot of volatility here as his command tends to come and go. Still, he’s worth a pick-up given the fact the team trusts him in the role and for his incredible strikeout upside. The lack of competition doesn’t hurt either.
  • It looks like Tanner Houck may wind up being the Red Sox’s top closing option after all, and honestly at this point, why not. The rest of this bullpen continues to have its issues, and Houck has been pretty dominant this month in his new bullpen role. He’s definitely worth a look if he’s available in your league.

 

  • Finally, the Reds have no one else to turn to in the ninth inning BUT Alexis Díaz, right? Tony Santillan and Hunter Strickland are not realistic options and while Art Warren has pitched well this month and Díaz has not, I still think Díaz deserves a chance to claim the role. Keep an eye on both Díaz and Warren for now.
  • Andrew Kittredge went back on the IL this past week and isn’t expected to be back until after the All-Star break, leaving the Rays’ closer role as one big question mark again. Jason Adam has been their best reliever to date and earned a save recently so I’d imagine some combination of him and Colin Poche see the bulk of the save chances here.

 

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Edwin Díaz-
4Raisel Iglesias-
5Kenley Jansen+3
6Emmanuel Clase
T2
-1
7Taylor Rogers-1
8Jordan Romano-1
9Ryan Pressly+1
10David Bednar+1
11Craig Kimbrel
T3
-2
12Camilo Doval-
13Clay Holmes-
14Ryan Helsley-
15David Robertson+1
16Joe Barlow
T4
+1
17Daniel Bard+2
18Gregory Soto+5
19Jorge López+2
20Tanner Rainey-
21Emilio Pagán
T5
+UR
22Diego Castillo+UR
23Tanner Scott+5
24Tanner Houck+UR
25Scott Barlow-
26Alexis Díaz+UR
27Jason Adam+UR
28Corey Knebel
T6
-10
29Mark Melancon-2
30Dany Jiménez-8

 

Watch List

 

Photo by John Adams/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.

2 responses to “Closing Time 6/14: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Andrew K. says:

    Where would you rank Graveman now that Hendriks went to the IL? Drop Knebel for him?

  2. Greg says:

    Seems like Scott Barlow is the KC guy and not actually in committee anymore.

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