Closer Report

April 29, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher John Axford (59) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee defeated St. Louis 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

This is a weekly look at the status of closers and the guys that set them up . Saves are gobbled up faster on the waiver wire faster than... well let's just say it's pretty fast. People flock to them, like they are the second coming of statistical revolution. So take a look at the news for the week that was and the rankings of the guys that will be good for both saves and Holds.

  • The news in Tinsel Town starts with Kenley Jansen getting 2 saves over the weekend. Then it ends with Javy Guerra needing rest to mend his ailing foot. This is becoming more obvious who should be the closer and a change is most likely here so plan your rosters accordingly.
  • The situation in the South side of Chicago is becoming more and more evident that Hector Santiago is going to be replaced if not this past weekend then soon. It will probably be a mix and match affair until Matt Thronton tales the helm full time. All 3 guys: Santiago, Thornton and Addison Reed are rosterable for saves consumption.
  • Has anyone watched Carlos Marmol pitch this year? He is horrible, and I am putting that nicely. He sports an impressive 6/9 K/BB rate which if your a closer in any other situation would cause you to lose your job. Change is coming....eventually. To whom? Who knows... Rafael Dolis is effective but not a K pitcher, Michael Bowden is a sleeper and a dark horse.
  • In Baltimore Pedro Strop took the reigns from an injured Jim Johnson and ran with it this past week. Getting a win and 2 saves for his efforts. nothing really to see here unless Johnson has continued illness and not injury.
  • The Angels have made a switch from Jordan Walden to Scott Downs. Now this doesn't seem to be a long term issue both guys are still rosterable for the time being. Mike Scoscia is prolly trying to motivate Walden by making him carry Downs' bags for awhile and boost his confidence. Personally from a baseball fan perspective Downs has been the better pitcher. The Angels need to shore up that bullpen and a trade for a proven relief pitcher may just be the trick here.

More rankings after the jump.


  • My Top 5 is now down to 4. The have everything you want. A job, consistency, a stunning disposition.

6. J.J. Putz

7. Jose Valverde

8. Joel Hanrahan

9. Rafael Betancourt

10. Sean Marshall

11. Brandon League

12. Huston Street

13. Kenley Jansen

14. Chris Perez

15. Jim Johnson

  • Jansen for me debuts higher because we know what we are getting and expecting nothing less. I know he hasn't been named the official closer yet but take a look to your left, you see that wall. Good go read it cause there is something written on it.
  • I can't trust Valverde anymore. He has a long leash but peripherally he is hot garbage. He can't get a clean inning and always seems to give up a run even in non-save situations.

16. Heath Bell

17. Carlos Marmol

18. Matt Thornton

19. Joe Nathan

20. Fernando Rodney

21. Grant Balfour

22. Frank Francisco

23. Jonathan Broxton

  • Heath Bell makes Caros Marmol look good. That's all that needs to be said. The walk rate is up and the leash maybe become strangled around Ozzie soon. Both guys are trending in the wrong direction.
  • I have Thornton listed as the White Sox closer, because I think Santiago is going to be replaced this week.

24. Santiago Casilla

25. Henry Rodriguez / Brad Lidge

26. Brett Myers

27. Francisco Cordero

28. Alfredo Aceves / Daniel Bard

29. Matt Capps

30. Scott Downs

  • Santiago is the certified closer now. No if's or buts. He will climb this list slowly until we start seeing some accumulation.
  • Scott Downs debuts here. Has the job for now but for how long anyone's guess. Super effective for years as a set-up guy and is dominating against lefties.

Tier 1.

Jonny Venters ATL

Mike Adams TEX

David Robertson NYY

Sergio Romo SF

Eric O'Flaherty ATL

Tyler Clippard WAS

Vinnie Pestano CLE

Aroldis Chapman CIN

Joaqiun Benoit DET

Alexei Ogando TEX

Tier 2:

Sean Burnett WAS

Ryan Cook OAK

Mitchell Boggs STL

Marc Rzeczypnski STL

David Hernandez ARI

Edward Mujica MIA

Antonio Bastardo PHI

Francisco Rodriguez MIL

Addison Reed CHW

Tom Wilhelmsen SEA

Pedro Strop BAL

Tier 3:

Jared Burton MIN

Jason Grilli PIT

Jason Frasor TOR

Franklin Morales BOS

Bryan Shaw ARI

Joel Peralta TB

Andrew Cashner SD

Steve Chisek MIA

Tim Byrdak NYM

Josh Lindblom LAD


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