From forgotten starter to All-Star reliever, what a season it has been so far for Jorge López. López has been more than deserving of the All-Star nod with a 1.62 ERA and .92 WHIP to go along with a 28.7% K rate. There may be some second-half regression coming however as López has gotten a bit lucky (.219 BABIP) but I think he’s here to stay as one of the better relievers in the game. His sinker-heavy approach has led to a 58% GB rate this season, and with three offspeed offerings, there may be some more room for higher swing and miss numbers. With the Orioles in playoff contention, I’m not so certain we see him get moved at the deadline, so look for López to finish the season as the Orioles closer.
- Josh Hader is not the top-ranked closer on this list for the first time since April of 2021, and while the past week was brutal, it’s still not time to panic. Hader typically hits a rough patch in August each season, and it looks like it just came earlier this year as he’s been dealing with some really bad luck in these outings. Stick with him and look to take advantage of anyone willing to sell low.
- Scott Barlow moves up this week and I think there’s a case to be made he was an All-Star snub, but he may also not last on this list much longer. This tier is full of trade candidates (Gregory Soto, David Robertson, Daniel Bard, and maybe Tanner Scott?) so expect a lot to change from 15-onward in the ranks in the coming weeks.
- While they may be ranked lower, I still believe Jhoan Duran, Seranthony Domínguez, and Alexis Díaz should be rostered in most standard 12 teamers. They may not be the full-time “closer” for their respective teams, but they are the best relievers and should factor into plenty of decisions while helping with ratios and K’s. Just understand you may only get one save per week (or perhaps less).
- The Rays continue to Ray and with Pete Fairbanks back in the picture, trying to figure out who will get saves here gets even murkier. Brooks Raley recorded two saves this past week and now has three over the past three weeks, which leads the team while Jason Adam has two over that span and Colin Poche and Jalen Beeks have one a piece. It’s still a frustrating situation as always, but I think Raley and Adam are the only two I’d really have interest in for now, at least until we see what kind of role Fairbanks plays over the second half.
|1.||Giovanny Gallegos||STL||still splitting save chances with Helsley?|
|2.||Diego Castillo||SEA||chance to split with Sewald still?|
|3.||Jason Adam||TB||Could be RH complement to Raley/Poche|
|4.||Corey Knebel||PHI||pitching better lately, back in the mix?|
|5.||Carl Edwards Jr.||WAS||best stuff in that bullpen with Rainey out|
|6.||Tyler Duffey||MIN||overtaken Pagán for late-inning work?|
|7.||John Schreiber||BOS||still the best reliever in Boston|
|8.||A.J. Minter||ATL||Jansen could be eased into the mix|
|9.||José Leclerc||TEX||why not?|
|10.||Evan Phillips||LAD||probably the best reliever in LA|
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)