Friday night was just awful for closers, as I noted Saturday morning:
Kimbrel+Chapman+Holland+Perkins+Jansen+Britton Friday: 5 innings, 17 runs, 30.60 ERA, 16 hits, 8 BB, 3 K, 4 blown saves, 4 losses— Daniel Kelley (@danieltkelley) June 21, 2014
(This is foreshadowing. Get ready for Twitter week in the Closer Rankings!)
The numbers aren't any better when you see them individually:
|Zach Britton||0.2||3||4||4||1||1||Blown Save, Loss|
|Kenley Jansen||0.2||3||3||3||0||0||Blown Save, Loss|
|Craig Kimbrel||1||1||2||2||2||0||Blown Save|
|Glen Perkins||1||4||2||2||1||0||Blown Save, Win|
|Total||5||16||17||17||8||3||4 Blown Saves, 4 Losses, 1 Win|
That is, if you don't want to parse the list, five closers who have all spent significant time in my top four or five most of the season, plus Britton, who came into that game with nine saves in 10 opportunities, a 3-0 record, and an ERA of 0.72. It was as bad a day for elite closers as I can remember, and no I'm not giving any return-positive credit for Perkins for getting a win.
In light of those Friday-night shenanigans, some things have changed in the closer rankings. Nothing significant. Perkins falls a couple spots. Jansen too. And Britton loses a bit of trust. But when the elite guys struggle like that - especially when all of them do it at once - it's tough to go crazy. I'm not bumping David Robertson to No. 1 closer status or anything.
When guys low in the closer rankings struggle, I'm apt to send them plummeting. This is the first and last time you'll see Ernesto Frieri's name this week, for example. But the top tier has earned trust. Chapman put up a 9.00 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP last week, sure. But he also struck out 10 guys in four innings, and his season WHIP is only at 0.75 now. The only closer in my top 20 with a WHIP of more than 1.20 is Jansen, who is striking out more than 15 guys per nine innings.
This isn't really new information for anyone who knows what they're doing. But (a) it's worth repeating, and (b) I really wanted to highlight all those Friday-night implosions. That was some craziness.
Moving on, these are this week's closer rankings. The first list is the right-now rankings; the second is the rest-of-season list. In the first list, I figure you've had enough of my own thoughts on the various guys, so I'm including relevant recent tweets on the guys. Just some new voices there. I'll put some thoughts in the second list as I see fit.
And on the second list, I stopped at 25. Sorry, I know I was going to list 30 closers for 30 teams each week, and keep that up, but the heck with that right now. I don't know who's going to get save opportunities for the Cubs, Rays, Angels, Mets. And I have no idea what to make of Joe Nathan. Stopping at 25. Please don't hate me.
Here we go:
|Rank||Player||Team||Last Week||Tweet Of The Week|
|1||Aroldis Chapman||CIN||1||So many strikeouts. So many strikeouts.|
|4||Koji Uehara||BOS||5||Even with his terrible Sunday, he's just been so good overall.|
|6||Huston Street||SDP||6||Only closer with an ERA below 1.00.|
|10||Rafael Soriano||WAS||15||Remember when everyone thought Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard would take over?|
|11||Joakim Soria||TEX||9||He falls because the Rangers are just terrible right now and he might not get as many save chances.|
|16||Casey Janssen||TOR||14||He's been great, but he's not striking out enough people.|
|20||Mark Melancon||PIT||NR||Falls a little in the full-season rankings because Jason Grilli still might be heard from.|