Weekly Closer Rankings: Week 1

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Ray Guilfoyle ranks all of the closers for the first week of the 2013 MLB season.

Closers are a volatile bunch, so you can expect several closers that you drafted over the last few weeks to lose their job this season. It happens every year. We may see a change in the closer role in Chicago fairly soon if Carlos Marmol cannot gain some semblance of control on the mound. Manager Dale Sveum already has shown his hand in game one, and Marmol's leash is short. Very short in fact. Kyuji Fujikawa is the odds on favorite to take over the closer role should Sveum decide to make a switch in the coming days or weeks. As a result, I have moved him up as my 22nd ranked closer even though he doesn't have the role yet.

Here are my Closer Rankings for Week 1 of the 2013 baseball season:

Rank

Closer/Middle Reliever

Team

1

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

2

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

3

Fernando Rodney

TB

4

Mariano Rivera

NYY

5

Rafael Soriano

WAS

6

Jonathan Papelbon

PHI

7

Joe Nathan

TEX

8

Greg Holland

KC

9

Tom Wilhelmsen

SEA

10

J.J. Putz

ARI

11

Jim Johnson

BAL

12

Addison Reed

CHW

13

John Axford

MIL

14

Glen Perkins

MIN

15

Ernesto Frieri/Ryan Madson

LAA

16

Chris Perez/Vinnie Pestano

CLE

17

Brandon League

LAD

18

Sergio Romo

SFG

19

Grant Balfour

OAK

20

Steve Cishek

MIA

21

Jason Grilli

PIT

22

Kyuji Fujikawa

CHC

23

Huston Street

SD

24

Joel Hanrahan

BOS

25

Rafael Betancourt

COL

26

Mitchell Boggs/Jason Motte

STL

27

Casey Janssen/Sergio Santos

TOR

28

Bobby Parnell

NYM

29

Detroit closer by committee

DET

30

Carlos Marmol

CHC

31

Jose Veras

HOU

32

Kenley Jansen

LAD

33

David Robertson

NYY

34

David Hernandez

ARI

35

Luke Gregerson

SD

36

Drew Storen

WAS

37

Joakim Soria

TEX

38

Kelvim Herrera

KC

39

Wilton Lopez

COL

40

Mark Melancon

PIT

I made a few minor changes in the closer rankings this week including:

  • I moved the trio of Grant Balfour, Steve Cishek and Jason Grilli above two closers who I think are shaky/injury risks: Huston Street and Joel Hanrahan, and Rafael Betancourt, who is a trade candidate, and could move to a set up role if dealt.
  • I moved the Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano to my 16th ranked closer, just ahead of Dodgers closer Brandon League.
  • Carlos Marmol, he of the poor Opening Day performance, was dropped to the 30th ranked closer spot, just ahead of Jose Veras, and he could fall out of my Top 40 ranked closers/MRs with a few more performances like Monday's near blow-up.
  • Mitchell Boggs moved up to my 26th ranked closer spot now that we know he will probably be closing for at least the month of April. Something tells me that if Motte is out longer than expected, that we will see Trevor Rosenthal working the ninth in St. Louis before mid-year.
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