Welcome to Closing Time! A weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Accompanied by who is most likely to assume the closer role in the event of a change in the hierarchy. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the rest of the season.
Share your questions and critiques in the comments, I’ll be sure to respond. Follow me on twitter @Just_In_Relief for occasional notes on bullpen happenings through a fantasy lens. Let’s get to it.
8. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals) – Jonathon Broxton
17. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris
22. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) – Xavier Cedeno
TIER 6 – Speculative
34. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
40. Sean Kelley (Washington Nationals)
42. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)
43. Rasiel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)
– Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
– With Aroldis Chapman being traded to the Cubs, the door opens to Andrew Miller to become one of the best closers in fantasy. It’s bold but warranted; Miller opens up in the top tier as the new Yankees closer. He already converted his first save and he was 36-of-38 with a 2.04 ERA and 0.86 WHIP as Yankees closer last season.
– Chapman, on the other hand, falls out of the top tier on his new team, for now. The only reason for this is that the cubs have not been a club that has been getting saves, Hector Rondon only had 22 chances in his tenure this year, which is at the bottom of the league in save opportunities. All eyes will be on the stud closer on a new team, so we will see how he does in Chi town.
– With Koji Uehara hitting the DL, Brad Ziegler took over the closing role in Boston. He’s been perfect since Koji got hurt, appearing three times, allowing no base runners while striking out four and notching one save. It shouldn’t be long till he’s back to being a setup man, but Ziegler has pitched very well since being traded.
-Final Boss Seung Hwan Oh is starting to look like the closer we all salivated over for so long. He has another double-header today and could maybe get a double save like he did last Wednesday. The strikeout numbers from Oh are strong and with his team always finding a way to the playoffs I will be expecting big things from this rookie down the line
-I paid some respect to Jeanmar Gomez this week. The guy has quietly worked to being 7th in the league in saves with 28. Meanwhile he only strikes guys out at a 5.59 K/9 rate, he has a solid 1.09 WHIP though and has only blown three saves this year. It’s the best season of his career for the surprise closer, still hard to predict if his performance will keep up but the third tier seemed like a fair place to move him to.
– If I told you that there were two closers that have not allowed a run over the last month, you might be able to guess that the first is Zach Britton – that dude is a notorious beast. The second guy, is Jeremy Jeffress – whaaaaaattttt well okay not going to get too hyped here cause he only has two saves in the span but still he’s been lights out for the Brew Crew and could likely be traded. That would open the door for Tyler Thornburg.
– Francisco Rodriguez looks like the beast that once was again. Over his last 10 appearances he has 8 saves while only allowing 6 men to reach base with 8 strikeouts. I wish the strikeouts were there as he’s only been hovering around a 9.00 k/9 rate this year, but that’s not terrible – it just isn’t elite.
– Speaking of strikeouts, Mark Melancon and Steve Cishek have been trending in the right direction. Marky Mark has come on of late, looking like the guy you probably drafted pretty early – and Steve has been lights out… 17 strikeouts over his last 29 outs. With Edwin Diaz setting up before him, the pen in Seattle is looking a bit scary to face right now.
That sums it up for this week on Closing Time. Be sure to give me a follow and ask me questions @Just_In_Relief. Look out for my next article on Thursday and as always feel free to leave your questions, comments and concerns down below – I’ll be sure to respond.