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.
1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Joe Blanton
2. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed
3. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Brad Brach
4. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees) – Dellin Betances
5. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals) – Kelvin Herrera
6. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – Fernando Rodney
7. Aroldis Chapman (Chicago Cubs) – Hector Rondon
8. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals) – Jonathon Broxton
9. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Tony Watson
10. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Justin Wilson
11. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Sergio Romo
12. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jake Diekman
13. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals) – Sean Kelley
14. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners) – Edwin Diaz
15. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones
16. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Jason Grilli
17. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris
18. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers) – Tyler Thornburg
19. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians) – Bryan Shaw
20. Brad Ziegler (Boston Red Sox) – Junichi Tazawa
21. Will Harris (Houston Astros) – Ken Giles
22. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) – Xavier Cedeno
23. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter
24. Tyler Clippard (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson
25. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins) – Fransisco Abad
26. Carlos Estevez (Colorado Rockies) – Adam Ottavino or Jason Motte
27. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels) – Joe Smith
28. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds) – Ross Ohlendorf
29. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Ryan Dull
30. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves) – Chris Winthrow or Mauricio Cabre
TIER 6 – Speculative
31. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)
32. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)
33. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers)
34. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
35. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)
36. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies)
37. Jake Barrett (Arizona Diamondbacks)
38. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)
39. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)
40. Sean Kelley (Washington Nationals)
41. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)
42. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)
43. Rasiel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)
44. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)
45. Sergio Romo (San Francisco Giants)
46. Mauricio Cabrera (Atlanta Braves)
47. Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)
– Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)
– Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
– Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins) Out for the season
– Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)
– Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox)
– 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.