Time for this week's closer report, and we've already seen some changes in the role. (Not a big surprise here unfortunately..)
You Can Count Your Saves Now. They're Going to Be There.
These are the ones you can take to the bank, as it would pretty much take a significant injury for them to not get their chances.
Indians - Chris Perez (6)
These Guys Are Practically Money, but Something's Not Quite Right
Cubs - Carlos Marmol (6)
Giants - Brian Wilson (6) - Wilson returned this week from the disabled list, and should be considered to have a lock on the job unless he gets hurt again.
Red Sox - Jonathan Papelbon (6) - Papelbon finally got a save opportunity on Friday, and was able to record it successfully. For now, we have to assume that he's got a lock on the job.
Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton (7) - Broxton has looked shaky in three different save opportunities, but still has 5 saves in 5 chances. It's a bit more concerning to me that he only has 1 strikeout in that time.
Twins - Joe Nathan (6)
Braves - Craig Kimbrel (6) - Kimbrel recorded 3 saves this week, and clearly asserted himself as the main option in the Atlanta bullpen. The non-save situation on Sunday appears to be an aberration as opposed to the norm.
Tigers - Jose Valverde (7)
Brewers - John Axford (6) - Axford blew the first save opportunity he had of the season, but finished strong and had 3 saves since opening day. Takashi Saito would appear to be the person you want as backup if you're concerned.
Rockies - Huston Street (7) - Matt Lindstrom got a save this week, but Street had 4, and pitched in 6 games of the original 9. I wouldn't worry about this situation.
Diamondbacks - J.J. Putz (6)
There's A Lot to Like Here, but You're Playing with Fire
Mets - Francisco Rodriguez (7)
Reds - Francisco Cordero (6)
They Don't Have a Vice Grip on the Job, but There's a Lot of Upside Here
White Sox - Matt Thornton (6) -Thornton didn't have a good week, as he did not record a save in 2 chances. Throw in that Chris Sale got the save the day after Thornton blew the save on Friday, and it's not exactly a lock that Thornton will keep this job permanently. I think he's got a longer leash than some of the other closers, but watch how Sale is used this week. UPDATE: Ozzie Guillen has stated that he will be using a committee for the time being.
Blue Jays - Jon Rauch (6)
Pirates - Joel Hanrahan (6) - Hanrahan had 4 saves last week, jumping out to a quick lead in the Majors in the category. He appears to have a grip on the job, but I wouldn't expect 2-3 saves a week from him just yet.
Saves are Coming, but Just Don't Expect Anything Else of Value
Cardinals - Ryan Franklin (7) - Manager Tony LaRussa stated that Franklin was still the closer despite some early struggles. His only value really is if he is providing saves, so it may be time to grab Jason Motte.
Astros - Brandon Lyon (7)
He's Going to Get Saves This Week, But He May Not Next Week
Athletics - Brian Fuentes (7) - Fuentes blew a save opportunity in spectacular fashion last Friday, but did manage to record his next save chance successfully. He finished the first week with 3 saves, and Andrew Bailey is still working is way back.
Phillies - Jose Contreras (6) - With the news that Lidge will be out until almost the All-Star break, Contreras really has a lock on the job.
Mariners - Brandon League (7)
Angels - Jordan Walden (6) - Walden was named the closer by manager Mike Scioscia last week. Apparently Rodney got the save opportunity on Sunday only because Walden had pitched the night before, so I wouldn't worry about him taking too many chances from Walden.
Nationals - Sean Burnett (6) -
Rays - Jake McGee / Kyle Farnsworth (7) - Farnsworth got the save on Friday night, but it's hard to judge if that is a lock to continue since the Rays only had 1 save opportunity in the first 9 games.
Orioles - Kevin Gregg / Koji Uehara (6)- Gregg got the 1 save out of the Baltimore bullpen last week, but there weren't a lot of opportunities here either.