Closing Time 8/9: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

While Félix Bautista has had some success in the upper minors, I don’t think anyone expected this kind of output. Since May 1st, Bautista ranks in the top six amongst all qualified relievers in xFIP (2.17), SIERA (2.00), K% (38%), K-BB% (30.3%). While he sits at 99 mph with his fastball, it’s the splitter that does the bulk of the damage with a 56.1% Whiff and 37.9% PutAway rates. Oh and the slider isn’t a bad third option either with a 43.3% Whiff rate. Now the closer in Baltimore, look for the man they call “The Mountain” (due to his massive 6’9″, 290 lb frame) to be a top 12-15 closer, at the very least, moving forward.

 

Notes

 

  • Clay Holmes struggles are continuing and we may be getting to the point where he will be removed from the closer role, especially with Aroldis Chapman putting together six straight scoreless outings while allowing just one walk. The issue with Holmes right now is fairly simple, hitters just aren’t chasing his stuff out of the zone anymore.
  • Jonathan Hernández has looked like his pre-injury self so far as he returns from TJS and while it’s great the team is trusting him in save situations, I think expectations for this season should be tempered. There is a trio of lefties who are still going to figure into the late innings mix, and there’s no reason for the team to push Hernández to throw multiple innings or on back-to-back days (despite doing the former twice already). However, even though it’s too early to look into the 2023 season, I see a potential top 12 closer here, assuming he can put together a full season.

 

  • Tanner Houck was the Red Sox closer this week, a role in which he and Garrett Whitlock are likely to split for the remainder of the season. While it does limit both pitchers’ value, I still see them as rosterable in almost all 12-team, save-only leagues.
  • Over the past month, the Rays have had four relievers tally 2 saves; however, none of the four were able to convert more than those two saves. So as far as rostering anyone here, Brooks Raley, Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks are the only real options, and should only be on the radar in deeper leagues. Death, taxes, and the Rays using a committee to close out games.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Edwin DiazT1-
2Josh Hader
T2
-
3Devin Williams-
4Liam Hendriks-
5Emmanuel Clase-
6Ryan Pressly
T3
+1
7Jordan Romano+1
8Kenley Jansen+1
9Ryan Helsley+1
10Clay Holmes-4
11Paul Sewald-
12Félix Bautista-
13Jorge López-
14Daniel Bard-
15Gregory Soto-
16Craig Kimbrel
T4
-
17Camilo Doval-
18Scott Barlow-
19Tanner Scott-
20Seranthony Domínguez+UR
21Jonathan Hernández
T5
+5
22Garrett Whitlock-1
23Alexis Díaz-
24Wil Crowe-
25A.J. Puk-
26Pete Fairbanks-4
27Kyle Finnegan
T6
-
28Rowan Wick-
29Ryan Tepera+UR
30Ian Kennedy+UR

 

Watch List

 

Photo by Cliff Welch/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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