Closing Time 8/30: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

Somewhat lost in Edwin Díaz‘s dominance and Josh Hader‘s downfall has been the season Liam Hendriks has been having on a disappointing White Sox team. Since the middle of May (over his past 30 IP) Hendriks has a 1.94 SIERA with 20.2% SwStr and 32.2% K-BB rates while accumulating 19 saves. Hendriks has been as steady as we’ve come to expect for a White Sox team that has been anything but steady this season, and once again proven his value as one of the top two or three relievers coming off the board in drafts this winter.

 

Notes

 

  • Clay Holmes made his return to the Yankee bullpen last night, firing a perfect inning while adding a strikeout. He worked the seventh inning with the team trailing, and only threw seven pitches (all sinkers) but it’s still encouraging to see. Typically, someone in Holmes’s situation would be eased back into the closer role, but with the Yankees literally out of potential options to close out games, he may be Aaron Boone’s only choice, beginning as early as this weekend perhaps. Given what we saw in the first half, and the fact he’s made some mechanical tweaks, I think he remains worthy of a roster spot in all leagues.
  • Brandon Hughes may be the unlikely post-trade deadline league winner waiver add for a lot of people out there and yet he is still only rostered in 25% of Yahoo leagues. He may only have three saves this past month, but they have all come over the past two weeks. Hughes also boasts a 2.81 ERA and .81 WHIP over 16 innings in August with 23 strikeouts. Add in the Cubs’ rest-of-season schedule (CIN x9, SF, COL @ home, MIA, and PIT, with some STL/NYM/PHI sprinkled in) and Hughes could be a true difference maker closer down the stretch.

 

  • I don’t think at any point this year, up until this past week, anyone had even considered Nick Martinez as the potential closer for the Padres but here we are on August 30th with him getting the nod from manager Bob Melvin. As Josh Hader continues to struggle more and more (when is the inevitable IL stint coming?), the likelihood of Martinez finishing the season as the Padres closer grows stronger and stronger. Martinez has been awesome as a reliever this season as well, with a 1.35 ERA, .95 WHIP, and 17% K-BB rate over 40 relief innings.
  • The best reliever in the Angels bullpen right now is Jimmy Herget and it’s not that close, so it’s great to see him pick up the team’s two saves this past week. Herget’s funky delivery generates a ton of awkward swings, and perhaps even more impressive is his ability to command the strike zone and keep his BB rate under 5%. There may not be a ton of upside if he hangs onto the role but he could be a solid add for the remainder of the season as someone who has allowed more than one earned run just twice since opening day (52 IP).

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Edwin DiazT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Devin Williams-
4Emmanuel Clase-
5Félix Bautista+1
6Jordan Romano
T2
+1
7Kenley Jansen-2
8Ryan Helsley-
9Paul Sewald-
10Clay Holmes+UR
11Jorge López
T3
+1
12Camilo Doval-2
13Scott Barlow-2
14Daniel Bard-1
15Brandon Hughes+12
16Gregory Soto-2
17Tanner Scott-2
18Kyle Finnegan+2
19Nick Martinez+UR
20David Robertson-4
21Alexis Díaz
T4
-4
22Garrett Whitlock-4
23Jimmy Herget+UR
24A.J. Puk+UR
25Jason Adam-6
26Jonathan Hernández-5
27Evan Phillips-5
28Wil Crowe
T5
-3
29Rafael Montero+UR
30Ian Kennedy-

 

Watch List

 

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

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