This is probably the last week for Jose Leclerc on this list, as it sounds like his return to the closer role is imminent. Since May 1, Leclerc has posted stellar numbers (15.1 innings, three earned runs, four hits, 28:6 K/BB), and with Shawn Kelley blowing another save last night, it seems like the time is right to make the swap. Leclerc will likely slide into the top 12-15 area on the closer list while Kelley will likely still be a top 50 holds asset following the demotion.
Seranthony Dominguez left last night’s game with some mild elbow soreness, and while it’s nice to hear the word mild, it almost surely will result in an IL stint. After all, the Phillies still aren’t close to seeing David Roberston, who was placed on the IL April 15 with mild elbow soreness. Hopefully Seranthony’s MRI comes back clean, but for now, expect to be without him for a while.
- The big news from last night is obviously the Craig Kimbrel signing by the Cubs. I don’t see it affecting this list much, as Steve Cishek is back on the list with Pedro Strop returning this week. It does mean Strop will be on this list in the next two to three weeks likely, and assuming he continues pitching well, he should find himself inside the top 25. Kimbrel on the other hand figures to be a top 10 closer right off the bat.
While I may have jumped the gun some on bumping Jake Diekman up into the top 30 last week (shame on me for trusting any Royals reliever), I do think Oliver Perez makes for a safer option going forward, especially considering the season he is coming off. If you don’t believe me, our own Michael Ajeto wrote a great piece on Perez this winter discussing how yes, Oliver Perez is good now. Things got off to a rocky start for him this season, but he has been lights out since May 1 with a 20:1 K/BB ratio and just six hits and two earned runs allowed over 12.1 innings.
- The top seven, maybe eight names in Tier 3 would all be what Nick considers Young Guns, I believe. While there’s a ton of upside here, it comes with some risk as they’ve each battled prolonged rough patches early on in their careers. Every time I think one of these guys have turned a corner into elite reliever status, they either go out and walk the yard, give up a bunch of hits, or just inexplicably stop being used in high leverage roles (*cough* John Brebbia *cough*).