Closer Report: Week 20 Rankings

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Gulfoyle ranks his top 40 closers and middle relievers for Week 20 of the fantasy baseball season.

The Closer Report is back after a hiatus, and there has been plenty of movement since my last closer rankings. Several closers have lost their jobs, including Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz and Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Several other closers are on the DL including Pirates closer Jason Grilli and Mets closer Bobby Parnell. Yet, there are several closers on the hot seat including Nationals closer Rafael Soriano, Orioles closer Jim Johnson and Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Let's take a look at my Week 20 Closer Rankings:

Rank

Closer/Middle Reliever

Team

1

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

2

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

3

Kenley Jansen

LAD

4

Greg Holland

KC

5

Joe Nathan

TEX

6

Mariano Rivera

NYY

7

Edward Mujica

STL

8

Glen Perkins

MIN

9

Addison Reed

CHW

10

Mark Melancon

PIT

11

Joaquin Benoit

DET

12

Sergio Romo

SFG

13

Casey Janssen

TOR

14

Grant Balfour

OAK

15

Chris Perez

CLE

16

Rafael Soriano

WAS

17

Rex Brothers

COL

18

Jonathan Papelbon

PHI

19

Jim Johnson

BAL

20

Huston Street

SD

21

Fernando Rodney

TB

22

Steve Cishek

MIA

23

Brad Zeigler

ARI

24

Jim Henderson

MIL

25

Danny Farquhar

SEA

26

Koji Uehara

BOS

27

Kevin Gregg

CHC

28

Latroy Hawkins

NYM

29

Dane de la Rosa

LAA

30

Josh Fields/Chia-Jen Lo

HOU

31

Trevor Rosenthal

STL

32

Francisco Rodriguez

BAL

33

Tyler Clippard

WAS

34

David Robertson

NYY

35

Luke Gregerson

SD

36

Rafael Betancourt

COL

37

Jason Grilli

PIT

39

Pedro Strop

BAL

39

Ernesto Frieri

LAA

40

Chris Withrow

LAD

Kenley Jansen, LAD

I was pretty high on Jansen coming into the season, saying that he deserved to be closing for the Dodgers at the start of the season. Instead, Brandon League began the season as the Dodgers closer, but eventually the blown saves and runs allowed resulted in Jansen taking over the role and he hasn't looked back. Jansen has 19 saves at the moment and owns an impressive 88-10 strikeout to walk rate in 61.2 innings.

Rafael Soriano, WAS

Soriano has blown two saves in a row now and the Nationals could look to Tyler Clippard if he blows another save opportunity. Soriano has saved 31 games this season, but has blown six saves already, two more than last season. His strikeout rate has plummeted from just over 9.00 K/9 to just 6.66 K/9, and his home run per nine rate has jumped from 0.80 HR/9 to 1.05 HR/9 this season.

Jim Johnson, BAL

Johnson is on the hot seat in Baltimore, having blown three saves in the last week. He now has 9 blown saves to go with his 39 saves, but the pressure to win ball games are much higher at this point in the season and manager Buck Showalter may look elsewhere in the next save opportunity. Francisco Rodriguez, who injured his groin on Friday night, appears to be next in line in Baltimore.

Chris Withrow, LAD

Withrow isn't in line for saves in Los Angeles, especially with Brian Wilson being added to the roster in the next day or two, but if you need some one to stash on a deep keeper league roster, Withrow is a solid candidate. Withrow is a former starter in the minors, but struggled with his control. He has found himself in a relief role and has been dominant since his call up. He has made 14 relief appearance, striking out 24, walking 7 and giving up just one home run in 20.1 innings thus far.

Rex Brothers, COL

Brothers appears to have taken the closer role in Colorado even with Rafael Betancourt coming off the DL recently. Brothers has struggled with his control a bit, but owns a K/9 rate above 9 and has saved 11 games in 12 opportunities this season. He is the Rockies closer of the future and I see him keeping the closer role the rest of the season, as the Rockies will either deal Betancourt or waive him (possibly), as they take a real close look at their roster heading into the offseason.

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