Closer Report: Week 11 Rankings

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Guilfoyle ranks his top 40 closers and middle relievers for Week 11 of the baseball season.

Two weeks ago, I moved Jason Grilli into the #2 spot in my Closer rankings, and this week he moves into the top spot. Why? Because he has been the best closer in the game this season. Here is a look at his 2013 stats vs Craig Kimbrel, the former #1 closer:

Jason Grilli: 23 saves, 0 blow saves, 0.98 ERA, 0.50 FIP, 46-6 K-BB, 27.2 innings, 14.96 K/9, 7.67 K/BB

Craig Kimbrel: 18 saves, 3 blow saves, 1.85 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 34-6 K-BB, 24.1 innings, 12.58 K/9, 5.67 K/BB

While Kimbrel is considered the most dominant closer in the game, Grilli has had the better season of the two thus far, with no blown saves, and a higher K/9 and K/BB rate. Grilli leads the majors in saves with 23 and is second only to Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in K/9. His 0.50 FIP also leads all big league closers this season.

I have made a few changes to the rankings, moving guys like Edward Mujica, Heath Bell and Jim Henderson up a few spots, but, generally, the rankings haven't changed much. I did drop Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey down to the #22 spot after his dreadful performance last night.

I had thought about moving Kenley Jansen back down to the #34-35 spot in the rankings, but that was before Brandon League blew up in the ninth inning of last night's game vs the Diamondbacks. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been using Jansen vs the opponent's best hitters this season, and using League in the ninth vs their opponent's lesser batters, but that blew up in his face last night. I see Jansen taking over the Dodgers closer role starting tonight.

Now let's take a look at my Week 11 Closer Rankings:

Week 11 Closer Rankings

Rank

Closer/Middle Reliever

Team

1

Jason Grilli

PIT

2

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

3

Mariano Rivera

NYY

4

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

5

Jim Johnson

BAL

6

Sergio Romo

SFG

7

Edward Mujica

STL

8

Casey Janssen

TOR

9

Rafael Soriano

WAS

10

Joe Nathan

TEX

11

Tom Wilhelmsen

SEA

12

Addison Reed

CHW

13

Jonathan Papelbon

PHI

14

Glen Perkins

MIN

15

Greg Holland

KC

16

Heath Bell

ARI

17

Grant Balfour

OAK

18

Jim Henderson

MIL

19

Chris Perez

CLE

20

Rafael Betancourt

COL

21

Kevin Gregg

CHC

22

Andrew Bailey

BOS

23

Jose Valverde

DET

24

Fernando Rodney

TB

25

Kenley Jansen

LAD

26

Luke Gregerson

SD

27

Steve Cishek

MIA

28

Ernesto Frieri

LAA

29

Bobby Parnell

NYM

30

Jose Veras

HOU

31

Rex Brothers

COL

32

Trevor Rosenthal

STL

33

Mark Melancon

PIT

34

Huston Street

SD

35

Brandon League

LAD

36

David Robertson

NYY

37

Jesse Crain

CHW

38

David Hernandez

ARI

39

Joel Peralta

TB

40

Francisco Rodriguez

MIL

Closer Changes

The only closer changes made were due to injury. Huston Street landed on the DL with a calf injury, but will start a rehab assignment this week, so he will get the Padres closer job back when he returns. Luke Gregerson filled in for him and earned two saves, but blew his most recent save opportunity in grand fashion on Sunday vs the Rockies. Gregerson gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in 0.2 innings to blow his second save of the season.

The other closer change was due to Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt landing on the DL with a groin injury. Rex Brothers has filled in for Betancourt, earning two saves and blowing one save. Betancourt may not be back until the end of June-early July, so Brothers is the one to own if he is available in your leagues.

Closer Situations to Watch

Brandon League, LAD

League more than likely will lose the closer role in Los Angeles after his blow up last night. I would be shocked if he did not lose the job. Grab Jansen as he is still available in 30% of ESPN leagues.

Edward Mujica, STL

With the way Trevor Rosenthal is pitching right now, it would probably only take 2-3 blown saves for Mujica to lose the closer job in St. Louis. Rosenthal struggled in April, but has been one of the more dominant relievers in the game since then. Rosenthal has given up just one earned run since April 17th, a span of 22 appearances.

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