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Closer Report

Chicks dig the glasses.
Chicks dig the glasses.

Every week I take a look at the going's on in the life of relief pitching in fake baseball. This week, like the ever growing trend of this year to date the relief pitching corps are in constant in flux. So have a gander at how I would rank the best conclusionary pitchers and the guys that set them up.

  • The A's bullpen is in whomever/whenever mode now that they realized what we all knew. Brian Fuentes isn't a big league closer. Pick a name that is in the bullpen right now and he may have an outside shot at the once in a blue moon save that the A's actually garner. Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour are all candidates at this point. Personally it should be Balfour followed by Cook, but what do I know.
  • Sergio Santos return is being delayed even further. Casey Janssen has done a pretty decent job for a set-up guy turned closer and should continue to be rostered.
  • Aroldis Chapman is proving to be human after giving up earned runs in consecutive innings. The wear and tear may be catching up with him and I can see a sporadic save situation here and there for the out-casted Sean Marshall.
  • The closer situation in Seattle may pull a Henry the XIII. Brandon League will and should be inserted back into the role to increase his value before the deadline. The future is already in the bullpen in Tom Wilhelmsen and Stephen Pryor so they know what they have waiting for them. League could return a decent b level prospect when the time comes.
  • Tyler Clippard has been nothing short of what we expected from him as a set-up guy this year. He is definitely moving up my rankings even though its still up in the air if he keeps the role when Drew Storen returns. He has 8 saves in as many chances over his last 10 games.
Rankings and Holds after the jump...

1. Craig Kimbrel

2. Jonathan Papelbon

3. John Axford

4. Aroldis Chapman

5. Joel Hanrahan

6. Chris Perez

7. Jason Motte

8. Jim Johnson

9. Kenley Jansen

10. J.J. Putz

11. Joe Nathan

12. Fernando Rodney

13. Santiago Casilla

14. Rafael Betancourt

15. Jose Valverde

16. Tyler Clippard

17. Rafael Soriano

18. Jonathan Broxton

19. Addison Reed

20. Alfredo Aceves

21. Frank Francisco

22. Heath Bell

23. Scott Downs / Ernesto Frieri

24. Brett Myers

25. Matt Capps

26. Casey Janssen

27. Huston Street

28. Brian Fuentes / Ryan Cook / Grant Balfour

29. Brandon League /Tom Wilhelmsen / Stephen Pryor

30. James Russell / Shawn Camp


Tier 1.

Jonny Venters ATL

Mike Adams TEX

Sergio Romo SF

Vinnie Pestano CLE

Joaquin Benoit DET

Sean Burnett WAS

Ryan Cook OAK

Sean Marshall CIN

David Hernandez ARI

Jason Grilli PIT

Antonio Bastardo PHI

Tier 2:

Steve Cishek MIA

Tim Byrdak NYM

Edward Mujica MIA

Francisco Rodriguez MIL

Pedro Strop BAL

Eric O'Flaherty ATL

Aaron Crow KC

Alexi Ogando TEX

Vincente Padilla BOS

Joel Peralta TB

Josh Lindblom LAD

Bobby Parnell NYM

Matt Belisle COL

Tier 3:

Glen Perkins MIN

Greg Holland KC

Juan Cruz PIT

Bryan Shaw ARI

Randy Choate MIA

Andrew Cashner SD

Juan Cruz PIT

Joe Smith CLE

Cory Wade NYY

Kelvin Herrera KC

Matt Thornton CHW

Jose Arredondo CIN

Brad Ziegler ARI

Jesse Crain CHW

Andrew Miller BOS