Closing Time 7/23: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday
- With the Giants all of a sudden just two games out of the Wild Card race, there is growing speculation they may not be selling at the deadline in what will be Bruce Bochy’s final season with the team. Whether that’s the right move or not, it now makes a Will Smith trade not so guaranteed and even despite his recent struggles, he stays in the top 10 for now. Ken Giles, on the other hand, seems more and more likely to be on the move and wherever it is he ends up, he should be closing for his new team. Shane Greene has been mentioned as an option for the Phillies recently, which would supposedly work out well for his fantasy value. Greg Holland and Alex Colome rumors have been quiet up to this point, but both free agents to be should draw some interest by next Wednesday.
- Jose Leclerc may finally start seeing save chances again with Shawn Kelley landing on the IL with a bicep injury. Kelley’s injury is considered minor, but any time you are dealing with that part of the arm for a pitcher, it’s probably better to play things safe. As for Leclerc’s value, I’m tempted to rank him higher, and if I was certain he would finish the year as the team’s closer, he’d be in tier 2. For now, he is worth the speculative add wherever available and we’ll just have to monitor the situation on a week to week basis based on his performance and Kelley’s health. As long as he pitches well, the job should be Leclerc’s from here on out.
- Nathan Eovaldi’s first appearance out of the bullpen did nothing to excite Red Sox fans or fantasy owners, but the performance itself is not worth getting too discouraged about. The team clearly rushed him back early, as they felt he’d only needed a total of one rehab inning before asking him to make his second live pitching appearance in over 3 months last night in Tampa. I still think Eovaldi will be able to figure things out in his new reliever role, but the Sox do seem to be in the market for a more traditional closer, with Ken Giles and Kirby Yates being rumored targets. I’d still try to hold on to Eovaldi, at least through the trade deadline, but if there are any top 20 options available feel free to chase those options.