Closing Time 9/13: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2022 season.

I had mentioned Kenley Jansen as potentially being on the hot seat last week, and the seat has gotten even hotter since as Jansen blew another save on Sunday. The Braves are in the playoffs, but they would obviously prefer winning the NL East as opposed to a wild card spot, and now that they are a game and a half back of the Mets for the division, perhaps its time to remove Jansen from the closer role for a bit and let Raisel Iglesias finish off games. Iglesias has allowed just one run since coming over to Atlanta and has been particularly dominant in September with 10 K over 5 IP while allowing just three baserunners.

 

Notes

 

  • While Pete Fairbanks and Jason Adam may still be splitting the closer role in Tampa, I think Fairbanks is the clear “1A” option right now, especially after Adam’s eighth-inning meltdown last night. Fairbanks is the only reliever here with more than one save over the past three weeks and has been pitching at an elite level since returning from injury.
  • The Dodgers only have four saves as a team over the past month, but it is Craig Kimbrel who has two of them, with one of them coming this past week. It looks like the team is ready to roll with him in the closer role again, as he’s now gone eight straight scoreless outings while allowing just one hit, although it does come with a paltry 6/3 K/BB ratio.

 

  • It’s great to see José Leclerc back in the closer role and pitching well again, and he’s been particularly great since the All-Star Break with a 1.93 ERA, .93 WHIP, 17.2% SwStr rate, and 30.3% K rate. The Walk rate is still not great (never has been) but as long as it remains around 10%, Leclerc should be trustworthy enough for those in need of saves.
  • Brandon Hughes is back up the list this week as it looks like that Rowan Wick save was more of a fluke than anything as Hughes picked up two saves this past week while Wick allowed two walks on .2 IP over two games. Hughes should remain as the Cubs’ closer for the remainder of the season.

 

  • Jorge López continues to struggle with the Twins and it is probably close to the point where the Twins have to be considering a change at the closer position as they remain three games back of the Guardians in the AL Central. It may not make sense to remove Jhoan Duran from his current role, but perhaps Michael Fulmer would be a better option in the ninth moving forward (although he has a 2.73 WHIP this month).
  • Matt Barnes received the last Red Sox save chance and was able to convert a scoreless inning. There have been some rumblings of Garrett Whitlock being shut down and I wouldn’t be surprised if they slow things down with John Schreiber as well, leaving Barnes as the top closing option for the rest of the season.

 

  • Tanner Scott has not converted a save since August 23rd and could be getting bypassed by Dylan Floro. Either way, I think this is a situation to just avoid as Floro isn’t someone to get excited about, although they do play Washington six more times the rest of the way.
  • Speaking of Washington, things haven’t been so great for their closer either as Kyle Finnegan has just one save since August 20th and has allowed seven earned runs over 3.2 innings this month. With nothing to play for this season, it might make sense for the Nationals to give Hunter Harvey a look in the closer role.

 

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

 

Watch List

 

Photo by David J. Griffin/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.

2 responses to “Closing Time 9/13: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Ryan says:

    Just curious, what does Romano have to do to get into Tier 1? He’s pitching very well, even better than Hendriks (and for a better team). Thanks!

  2. CP says:

    Any concern with the decreased velocity from Devin Williams over the past week?

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