Closer Rankings: The most volatile position

Otto Greule Jr

While you can hold out, wait and see with a lot of positions, closers come and go so quickly, you can't necessarily wait.

If I were writing a weekly first-baseman ranking column, it would be pretty boring. If Adrian Gonzalez goes 2-for-24 over a week, I'm not likely to move him much at all; things just tend to work themselves out in the long run. Even mid-level position players won't change much in a week or two; I wouldn't have, say, Emilio Bonifacio ranked much different now than I did a few weeks ago.

Closers, though, can be a different story. Sure, if Craig Kimbrel had blown two saves and given up two homers in two outings last week, I would probably still rank him well. The top guys are the top guys. But something like two-thirds of closers entered the season with questions, be they health, job security, or simply not-suckiness, and questions like that can often resolve - or further muddle - themselves quickly.

As such, there are six closers listed in my top 30 this week who were unranked a week ago. And next week, there will be likely be a few more showing up as well.

The rankings that follow are my rest-of-season rankings for fantasy closers:

Rank Player Team Previous Thoughts
1 Craig Kimbrel ATL 1 What, you were expecting Mark Wohlers?
2 Kenley Jansen LAD 2 Nowhere else to put this, so: Brian Wilson hit the DL with nerve irritation. HE GOT ON HIS OWN NERVES.
3 Greg Holland KCR 3 I love that baseball-reference.com lists league leaders this early; Holland is No. 1 in games finished!
4 Koji Uehara BOS 5 The only number on his stat line that makes me nervous is that age (39).
5 Glen Perkins MIN 4 Two awful outings out of three cost him one spot in the rankings.
6 Trevor Rosenthal SLC 6 Scarcely could have looked sharper so far.
7 David Robertson NYY 8 There haven't been any concerns so far.
8 Sergio Romo SFG 9 Those spring worries have faded somewhat.
9 Joe Nathan DET 7 It's only been three appearances, but he hasn't exactly looked dominant.
10 Aroldis Chapman CIN 11 Every week that passes is another week closer to his return.
11 Huston Street
SDP 13 No reason to worry unless and until we hear about injuries.
12 Rafael Soriano WAS
14 He's looked good enough to stem the Tyler Clippard/Drew Storen tide. For now.
13 Addison Reed ARI 12 If he struggles, the team does have several fallback options.
14 Grant Balfour TBR 16 Always has to keep his walks in check to be really successful.
15 Steve Cishek MIA 19 This is his fifth MLB season and you still can't find any ugly stats.
16 Sergio Santos TOR NR If he performs well, could keep the job even when Janssen returns.
17 Jason Grilli PIT 20 Mark Melancon is breathing down his neck, so he has to be on his game.
18 Jim Johnson OAK 18 He has rough weeks; can he get it back together before he loses the gig?
19 Josh Fields HOU NR Liked him in spring; like him even more now that it looks like Houston is leaning his way.
20 Joakim Soria TEX 27 He's looked decent; other Texas relievers have not.
21 John Axford CLE 23 Could leaving Milwaukee really have been his career salve?
22 Tommy Hunter BAL 29 Well, lefties haven't hit him yet; will it last?
23 Fernando Rodney SEA 30 It'll take more than one week for me to trust him, but looks good so far.
24 Matt Lindstrom CWS NR Best of a rough lot in the Chicago bullpen.
25 Jonathan Papelbon PHI 17 Biggest faller to remain ranked, but how could you possibly trust him?
26 LaTroy Hawkins COL 26 I still don't see why a team unlikely to compete would sign a 41-year-old to close.
27 Francisco Rodriguez MIL NR The Michael Myers of closers; dude is unkillable.
28 Ernesto Frieri LAA 28 Oh, he gave up home runs. Also, water is wet.
29 Pedro Strop CHC NR Veras has struggled; Strop stands to benefit.
30 Jonathan Broxton CIN NR He'd rank higher in short-term ranks, but he'll only have the job so long.


Dropped from rankings: Casey Janssen (10), Bobby Parnell (15), Jim Henderson (21), Jose Veras (22), J.J. Hoover (24), Nate Jones (25)

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