Josh Hader is coming off a nice week with two saves and 3 K’s while not allowing a hit or walk (he did hit a batter) and it’s comforting to see him continue to pitch well through the end of July as July/August has been an issue for him (4.46 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in the months of July and August for his career).
Hader would have been the top closer on the market, with that now potentially being either Liam Hendriks or David Bednar, or if neither one of them are truly available, then Jordan Hicks and Scott Barlow would be next up.
After seeing the return Pierce Johnson net the Rockies yesterday, we may see more relievers become available in the next week but it looks like Hader will be staying put anyway as the Padres try to claw their way back into playoff contention.
- Clay Holmes holds a 1.02 ERA (2.45 xFIP), 0.85 WHIP, 33.3% K rate and 8 saves over his last 17.2 IP dating back to late May. Michael King is the only other Yankee reliever with more than 1 save over that span with three, but only one over the past month. I’m sure we will continue to see him used in different spots but Holmes is still certainly trending up as he pulls away from the rest of the Yankee relievers.
- While other teams out of the playoff picture get ready to move their bullpen pieces, the Cubs may wind up keeping their high-leverage group intact as Adbert Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr., and Julian Merryweather are not free agents until 2027. Alzolay got off to a rough start in July but has settled in nicely over the past week, and still has a 12/1 K/BB ratio over nine innings this month.
- The Rangers’ closer situation is a bit of a mess as it looked like Aroldis Chapman may be the frontrunner for the role last week, but since then Will Smith has two saves to Chapmans 0. This is likely to be a headache for the next week or so until we get more clarity, but for now, both of these relievers should be rostered.
- A.J. Puk now has an ERA of 9.82 and 1.77 WHIP in July and may be removed from the closer role as soon as today perhaps, but the team may also be a little more patient with him as he does have a 28.6% K-BB rate, 2.95 xFIP and 2.55 SIERA for the month. Puk’s dealt with a .400 BABIP, 54.1% LOB, and 44.4% HR/FB rates this month showcasing how unlucky he has been, but Tanner Scott meanwhile has been dominant and probably deserves a chance to close out games anyway. For now, I’d roster both and just like with Texas, see how things play out in the coming weeks.
- The Royals may be kicking themselves after they didn’t trade Scott Barlow sooner, as the closer has certainly hurt his trade value over the past two months. Going back to June 10th (13.2 IP), Barlow has a 7.90 ERA (5.26 xFIP), 2.12 WHIP and 2.8% K-BB rate. I think it’s still more likely than not that Barlow gets moved as some team will think they can fix him but I doubt he winds up closing games wherever he winds up. It may make sense to go ahead and swap Carlos Hernández for Barlow now before you miss out on Hernandez.
- The Diamondbacks’ closer situation remains a debacle as Kevin Ginkel may now be in line to close out games, making him the 4th Diamondback reliever to appear on this list for the season. To Ginkel’s credit, he has allowed just 1 ER dating back to the start of June (13.2 IP), which also comes with a solid 20% K-BB rate and 0.66 WHIP. This team is still destined to trade for a reliever, if not a closer, so while I’d add Ginkel for now, he’s not a priority at the moment.
And if you want more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series
|1.||Aroldis Chapman||TEX||The situation is still fluid in Texas, both he and Smith should be rostered.|
|2.||Tanner Scott||MIA||Puk is losing grip on the closer role, Scott (or a trade) is next in line.|
|3.||Carlos Hernández||KC||If/when Barlow is dealt, should be the next closer in KC.|
|4.||Giovanny Gallegos||STL||Hicks will be moved at the deadline, Helsley is on the 60-day IL now.|
|5.||Andrew Chafin||ARZ||The closer situation is still a mess here…|
|6.||José Soriano||LAA||The best stuff in that bullpen and Estévez could be dealt.|
|7.||Jason Adam||TB||No closer is more injury prone than Fairbanks.|
|8.||Gregory Santos||CWS||If the White Sox trade their entire bullpen (possible), Santos could see saves.|
|9.||Colin Holderman||PIT||Still think there’s a chance Bednar gets moved.|
|10.||Jason Foley||DET||Has pitched well and non-zero chance Lange is moved.|