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Closer Report for Week 5

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Ray offers up his closer rankings for Week 5 of the MLB season, along with who is first and second in line behind the current closer for each team. And there are some sleepers too!

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We have a few injuries to discuss, along with a few new set up men who you might want to target or keep on your radar if you are in need of saves.

Reds

Well, the Reds bullpen is a complete mess. This we know. I was watching the Reds-Giants game last night and after the Reds knocked Giants starter Johnny Cueto around for 6 runs and took a 6-3 lead, i wanted to see how manager Bryan Price used his relievers in the later innings. Well, after Brandon Finnegan left after giving up 3 runs in 6 innings, Price brought in JC Ramirez, who promptly gave up the lead, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits while getting just one out. There goes my chance to see who the Reds closer was for one night.

After seeing Ramirez give up the four runs, I tweeted the following:

Then, I saw this surprising stat via Twitter:

Then this one:

Ouch. Luckily for the Reds, they have a bunch of decent to very good arms in their farm system, some of whom will end up in the bullpen, and maybe one can actually close. Until then, we get to watch Ramirez, Caleb Cotham, J.J. Hoover, Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani. I think their best reliever is currently in AAA, Jumbo Diaz. I am not sure when he will be called up, but he has pitched well in his few appearances.

Orioles

Zach Britton injured his ankle trying to field a bunt on Sunday and is day to day with a sprained ankle. At this point, he is not going to be placed on the disabled list, but if he does, reports indicate that one of either Darren O'Day, Brad Bach or Mychal Givens would close in his absence. Britton has pitched well this season, saving 6 games with a 2.70 ERA, 71% ground ball rate while striking out nearly 12 batters per 9 innings.

Brewers

Jeremy Jeffress has a firm grip on the Brewers closer role, but he is not your typical closer, as he is not dominant, striking out under six batters per nine. While he doesn't strike out many batters, he does induce ground balls at a near-elite 55%. Tyler Thornburg has been a surprise in the Brewers pen, striking out 14 batters per nine innings, but with an elevated walk rate. Former closer Will Smith will begin his rehab from a torn LCL next week, and could make an impact upon his return. If he has a set back, he will more than likely elect to have surgery on the knee, ending his 2016 season.

Angels

Huston Street was placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury that will cost him at least a month. In his place, the Angels will use Joe Smith to close out games. Smith is no stranger to closing, as he has 24 career saves, but he is not one that I have much confidence in, thus the low ranking.

Marlins

Set up man David Phelps earned the save on Sunday with closer A.J. Ramos unavailable. Phelps has pitched well out of the pen this season, striking out more than a batter per inning, but his walk rate is above 4.00, so he needs to limit the free pass going forward. Ramos has saved 7 games thus far, and is striking out more than 12 batters per nine, but his walk rate is just under 8.00 BB/9 at the moment. He might be a few blown saves away from losing his job, with Phelps and youngster Kyle Barraclough next in line. Barroclough closed in the minors and is striking out more than 14 batters per nine with a low walk rate.

Rank

Tm

League

Name

Second Option

Third Option

Sleeper

1

LAD

NL

Kenley Jansen

Pedro Baez

Chris Hatcher

2

BOS

AL

Craig Kimbrel

Koji Uehara

Carson Smith

3

NYY

AL

Andrew Miller

Dellin Betances

Aroldis Chapman (DL)

4

KCR

AL

Wade Davis

Kelvin Herrera

Joakim Soria

5

NYM

NL

Jeurys Familia

Addison Reed

Hansel Robles

6

BAL

AL

Zach Britton (injured)

Darren O'Day

Mychal Givens

Brad Bach

7

STL

NL

Trevor Rosenthal

Seung-hwan Oh

Kevin Siegrist

8

CHW

AL

David Robertson

Nate Jones

Jacob Petricka

9

HOU

AL

Luke Gregerson

Ken Giles

Pat Neshek

10

OAK

AL

Ryan Madson

Sean Doolittle

John Axford

11

PIT

NL

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

Neftali Feliz

Arquimides Caminero

12

SFG

NL

Santiago Casilla

Hunter Strickland

Josh Osich

Sergio Romo (DL)

13

CHC

NL

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Justin Grimm

14

WAS

NL

Jonathan Papelbon

Blake Treinen

Shawn Kelley

15

MIL

NL

Jeremy Jeffress

Tyler Thornburg

Michael Blazek

Will Smith (DL)

16

TEX

AL

Shawn Tolleson

Sam Dyson

Jake Diekman

Keone Kela (DL)

17

MIA

NL

A.J. Ramos

David Phelps

Kyle Barraclough

18

TOR

AL

Roberto Osuna

Drew Storen

Brett Cecil

19

CLE

AL

Cody Allen

Bryan Shaw

Zach McAllister

Trevor Bauer

20

DET

AL

Francisco Rodriguez

Mark Lowe

Justin Wilson

21

ATL

NL

Arodys Vizcaino

Jason Grilli

Jim Johnson

22

COL

NL

Jake McGee

Chad Qualls

Miguel Castro (DL)

23

PHI

NL

Jeanmar Gomez

Hector Neris

David Hernandez

Andrew Bailey

24

ARI

NL

Brad Ziegler

Daniel Hudson

Tyler Clippard

25

MIN

AL

Kevin Jepsen

Trevor May

Ryan Presley

Glen Perkins (DL)

26

SDP

NL

Fernando Rodney

Brandon Maurer

Ryan Buchter

27

SEA

AL

Steve Cishek

Tony Zych

Nick Vincent

Joaquin Benoit (DL)

28

TBR

AL

Alex Colome

Enny Romero

Erasmo Ramirez

Brad Boxberger (DL)

29

LAA

AL

Joe Smith

Fernando Salas

Jose Alvarez

Huston Street (DL)

30

CIN

NL

Caleb Cotham

Blake Wood

Ross Ohlendorf

Jumbo Diaz (Minors)

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