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Closing Time 6/7: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Tuesday

Welcome to Closing Time where all the closers and speculative save options are are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of...

Welcome to Closing Time where all the closers and speculative save options are 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.

Share your questions and critiques in the comments. Follow me on twitter @HisDudenessOfNY for the occasional snippet. 

TIER 1

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Pedro Baez

2. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals) – Kelvin Herrera

3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees) – Andrew Miller

4. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox) – Koji Uehara

5. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens committee

TIER 2

6. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Jason Grilli, Drew Storen

7. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed

8. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) – Pedro Strop

9. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones

10. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Tony Watson

TIER 3

11. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – David Phelps, maybe Kyle Barraclough

12. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) – Xavier Cedeno

13. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals) – Kevin Siegrist. Maybe Seung Hwan Oh

14. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Hunter Strickland, Sergio Romo when off the DL, Cody Gearrin

15. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians) – Bryan Shaw

16. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jake Diekman, maybe Matt Bush

17. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves) – Hunter Cervenka, maybe an ugly committee

TIER 4

18. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Shane Greene, Mark Lowe, Justin Wilson

19. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners) – Joaquin Benoit, Nick Vincent

20. Fernando Rodney (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer

21. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals) – Felipe Rivero, Shawn Kelley

22. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels) – Joe Smith

23. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris or David Hernandez

24. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers) – Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg

25. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Sean Doolittle

TIER 5

26. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

27. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson, Tyler Clippard

28/29. Luke Gregerson/Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

30. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies) – Carlos Estevez, Boone Logan

31. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

32. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds) – Ross Ohlendorf

33. Kevin Jepsen (Minnesota Twins) – Fernando Abad, Trevor May

34. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers)

TIER 7 – Speculative

35. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

36. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

37. Fernando Abad (Minnesota Twins)

38. Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

39/40. Hector Neris/David Hernandez (Philadelphia Phillies)

41/42. Joaquin Benoit/Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

43. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

44/45. Carlos Esteves, Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)

46. Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

47. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

48. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

49. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)

INJURED

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins)

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

NOTES

– After the latest Brad Boxberger injury I assume Alex Colome’s job is fairly safe. Bumped him up to tier 3 but once we get some word that Boxberger won’t take the job when he comes off the DL he’ll be in tier 2.

Santiago Casilla with his 4th blown save last week. His ratios are still nice and shiny and you gotta love his improved k/bb but some BABIP regression is likely on the horizon. Not really worried but he is a 35 year old whose stuff doesn’t really blow you away.

Sam Dyson holding it down. Jake Diekman and Matt Bush are doing work behind him but unless Texas trades for a reliever I believe Dyson will close ROS. 

Huston Street is healthy but he isn’t really a stud anymore. He has job security but the lack of strikeouts, in very limited innings, is sort of a turn off.

– Pretty nervous that Oakland moves to more of a committee with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle.

– The Houston situation is a giant question mark. Luke Gregerson could settle down in some high leverage setup situations and reclaim the job, Ken Giles could finally find his stroke, or Will Harris might take the job and run with it. Harris is likely the best reliever in that pen and my money’s on him, but this also could devolve into a committee.

Will Smith might get some save opps in Milwaukee, and he may get the job if they deal Jeremy Jeffress. Or maybe they deal Smith, or neither, who knows.

– Yankees pen could also get shaken up by trade, Andrew Miller or Dellin Betances could end up with the job depending on how aggressive the Yanks get with a rebuild. 

– San Diego, Philadelphia, Arizona, and maybe even Atlanta could deal their closers near the deadline as well.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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