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Closer Report

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 18:  John Axford #59 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at Miller Park on April 18, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 18: John Axford #59 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at Miller Park on April 18, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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This is a weekly look at the status of closers and the guys that set them up. This week the injury bug has struck one of the upper tiered closers, what else is new. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that the theory of you don't pay for saves is the best motto to have. As that makes 5 mid round drafted closer only pitchers that have gone down either in preseason or during this short 4 week season. So sit back and read a spell as we catch up on the the week both ahead and behind's news in the relief pitching ranks.

  • The aforementioned injury is to Sergio Santos. He has a shoulder impingement, and for someone who uses said shoulder to earn a paycheck that is never good news. Luckily the Blue Jays have an ex-closer in waiting in CoCo Cordero. He should have already been rostered in most formats and with this news he prolly he is, but go check anyways.
  • Frank Francisco got the usually death null of being supported by the manager. Frank Frank isn't the steadiest of pitchers and tends to look very hittable in stints. We have to believe Terry Collins here until he blows another lead so stand fast, for now. Jon Rauch looks like the pick up in the time being, with Bobby Parnell getting some faint love.
  • News in Boston is that Alfredo Aceves shouldn't be the closer, and that Daniel Bard should be moved to the bullpen. Didn't we all say this a month ago when Bailey went on the DL. Definitely a situation to monitor as they may fill the need internally or explore a trade here eventually as Aceves doesn't seem to be the answer IMO.
  • In Washington, Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez still continue to split the closing duties. This despite Lidge being diagnosed with a case of vertigo. This is a situation that won't reveal itself until one or the other ends up on the DL. No word on Kim Novak's status.
  • Greg Holland everyone's next closer in waiting has struggled early on and has been put on the DL. Jonathon Broxton has done quite well, KC hasn't reall lit up the sky with save chances to date so stand firm by Broxton.
  • The SF closer situation is muddled at best only because Bochy and his head tend to over think. Santiago Casilla is the first choice here, with Javier Lopez and Clay Hensley in play due to situation and work load. Deeper leagues could prolly flip a coin and roster either guy here as they will see the occasional chance.
More Rankings after the jump.

1. Craig Kimbrel
2. Mariano Rivera
3. John Axford
4. Jonathan Papelbon
5. Jose Valverde
  • No changes at the top. These guys are what you drafted for so far. It's early and save chances come and go but in the end this is the group you wanna own at least one from.

6. J.J. Putz

7. Jason Motte

8. Joel Hanrahan

9. Rafael Betancourt

10. Javy Guerra

11. Brandon League

12. Huston Street

13. Sean Marshall

14. Chris Perez

15. Heath Bell

  • Minus some chances here this group is steady as it goes. Hanrahan is looking murky, for accumulation, as the Pirates don't score any runs.
  • Chris Perez is slowly becoming more reliable as he has 6 consecutive save chances. He also hasn't given up a run since his opening week implosion.
  • The Diamondbacks keep pawning off save chances to Brian Shaw on the days where both Putz and Hernandez seemed to be over worked. It is a nothing to see here yet scenario as Shaw is merely a fill in, If all went to hell I think Hernandez would be the everyday guy.

16. Jim Johnson

17. Carlos Marmol

18. Hector Santiago

19. Joe Nathan

20. Jordan Walden

21. Fernando Rodney

22. Frank Francisco

23. Grant Balfour

  • Jim Johnson keeps plugging along for the overachieving O's. He is 7-7 in save chances and has no real competition behind him.
  • Walden has only seen one save opportunity in the Angels first 14 games. Not good for counting stats. It's still early he will still end up with around 25-30 for the year.
  • Hector Santiago shook off some cob webs last week and the bullpen situation in Chi-town is looking very strong once everyone settles into their roles. With Crain, Reed and Thornton they form a very solid back 4 in the run for the wild card out of the AL Central.

24. Jonathan Broxton

25. Matt Capps

26. Brett Myers

27. Santiago Casilla

28. Alfredo Aceves

29. Henry Rodriguez / Brad Lidge

30. Francisco Cordero

  • While Matt Capps isn't a world beater by any means. He is the poor man's Jim Johnson, as he doesn't really have anyone pushing besides Glen Perkins, who himself has been shaky.
  • The situations in SF and Was are very similar. If they just picked one guy they would be in the next group.
  • CoCo debuts at the bottom this week because who knows how long he will be in this role. Santos is going to visit Dr. Yocum today so news could be a titter later.
Holds Rankings:

Tier 1.

Jonny Venters ATL

Mike Adams TEX

David Robertson NYY

Sergio Romo SF

Eric O'Flaherty ATL

Tyler Clippard WAS

Vinnie Pestano CLE

Aroldis Chapman CIN

Joaqiun Benoit DET

Alexei Ogando TEX

Tier 2:

Mitchell Boggs STL

Marc Rzeczypnski STL

Matt Thornton CHW

Kenley Jansen LAD

David Hernandez ARI

Edward Mujica MIA

Antonio Bastardo PHI

Addison Reed CHW

Scott Downs ANA

Glen Perkins MIN

Tier 3:

Ryan Cook OAK

Matt Guerrier LAD

Rafael Soriano NYY

Steve Chisek MIA

Joe Smith CLE

Jesse Crain CHW

Andrew Cashner SD

Brian Shaw ARI

Tony Sipp CLE

Chad Qualls PHI

Tom Wilhelmsen SEA

Jason Frasor TOR

Questions, comments or add/drop questions about relievers are always welcome.