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Closer Report for Week 10: Ken Giles returning to the closer role in Houston?

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Ray is back with his closer rankings for Week 10 of the MLB season, with updates to the Astros, Brewers and Padres bullpens.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we have seen the first closer to lose his job since early in the season, as Astros closer Luke Gregerson blew his fifth save of the season over the weekend. Will Harris earned the next save opportunity, and pitched a 1-2-3 inning for his first save of the season. If you are wondering why Ken Giles didn't get the save opportunity, it is due to the fact that he pitched two innings in their previous game. Last night, manager A.J. Hinch stated that he would go with a closer by committee going forward, so it appears Harris and Giles should get to battle for the closer role over the next week or so. I would grab Giles or Harris if they are still available on your league waiver wire. I am personally rooting for Giles to get the closer role as I own him in an AL only keeper league, and spent a whopping $33 on him in our auction in March. This league is a 4x4 league where closers are higher priced than most of the ace starting pitchers in the league.

Here are a few more updates to the bullpen configuration for several teams this week:

  • The Yankees are probably going to trade at least one of their three dominating relievers by the trade deadline, and I think Andrew Miller should bring back the most in return. He can close, but he isn't demanding the ball in the ninth. He is fine with setting up, and is still one of the most dominating relievers in the game. And just about every team that is in the wild card/playoff chase will be interested in dealing for him.
  • Should Miller get traded to either the Cubs or the Giants, I bet he could become their closer right away. If the Dodgers trade for him, he would set up for Jansen, and then be their full time closer next season with Jansen a free agent at the end of the season.
  • I wrote about Trevor Rosenthal in last week's Closer Report, and since then he has converted two saves, but also got knocked around for 3 runs while walking three on Friday night. That said, while he is striking out more than 14 batters per nine, he is walking over 7 batters per nine as well, and is giving up close to a home run every nine innings. A few more bad outings like Friday night and he could lose his closer role. Should that happen, I see Seung-Hwan Oh as the next in line in St. Louis. He has been one of the better relievers in the game thus far, and is striking out more than 12 batters per nine.
  • There are currently eight relievers in the game who have struck out 40 or more batters this season, and two of those relievers are part of a very good back of the bullpen in Miami, former Yankee David Phelps and young pitching prospect Kyle Barraclough. Barraclough is one of two relievers striking out more than 17 batters per nine innings, or two batters every inning. He has struck out 40 batters in 21 innings of work, but he does struggle with his control, as he is walking more than 7 batters per nine. He has future closer written all over him if he can get the walk rate below 3.00 BB/9. Phelps has been dominant in the set up role for closer A.J. Ramos, as he is striking out more than 11 batters per nine and owns a 40-11 K-BB rate thus far. He could be a solid closer option should Ramos lose the role, but he has pitched very well of late.
  • The Reds announced over the weekend that starter Raisel Iglesias, currently on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, will move to the bullpen upon his return, whenever that is. The first thing I thought of when I heard this news was that he could take over the closer role from Tony Cingrani if he shows he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen, and I imagine he would. Cingrani is holding down the role currently, but he is far from dominant and has control issues of his own. He is a few blown saves from losing the role, in my opinion.

Closer Rankings for Week 10

Rank

Team

Name

Second Option

Third Option

Sleeper

1

Dodgers

Kenley Jansen

Pedro Baez

Joe Blanton

2

Red Sox

Craig Kimbrel

Koji Uehara

Junichi Tazawa

3

Yankees

Aroldis Chapman

Andrew Miller

Dellin Betances

4

Orioles

Zach Britton

Mychal Givens

Brad Brach

Darren O'Day (DL)

5

Royals

Wade Davis

Kelvin Herrera

Joakim Soria

6

White Sox

David Robertson

Nate Jones

Zach Duke

7

Giants

Santiago Casilla

Hunter Strickland

Josh Osich

Sergio Romo

8

Mets

Jeurys Familia

Addison Reed

Hansel Robles

9

Marlins

A.J. Ramos

David Phelps

Kyle Barraclough

10

Athletics

Ryan Madson

Sean Doolittle

John Axford

11

Pirates

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

Neftali Feliz

12

Cubs

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Justin Grimm

13

Phillies

Jeanmar Gomez

Hector Neris

David Hernandez

Andrew Bailey

14

Cardinals

Trevor Rosenthal

Seung-Hwan Oh

Kevin Siegrist

15

Padres

Fernando Rodney

Ryan Buchter

16

Brewers

Jeremy Jeffress

Will Smith

Tyler Thornburg

17

Blue Jays

Roberto Osuna

Jason Grilli

Joe Biagini

Drew Storen

18

Rays

Alex Colome

Enny Romero

Erasmo Ramirez

Brad Boxberger (DL)

19

Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon

Shawn Kelley

Blake Treinen

20

Indians

Cody Allen

Bryan Shaw

Zach McAllister

21

Rockies

Jake McGee

Carlos Estevez

Jason Motte

Miguel Castro (AAA)

22

Tigers

Francisco Rodriguez

Mark Lowe

Justin Wilson

23

Angels

Huston Street

Joe Smith

Fernando Salas

24

Diamondbacks

Brad Ziegler

Daniel Hudson

Tyler Clippard

25

Astros

Will Harris

Ken Giles

Luke Gregerson

Committee

26

Mariners

Steve Cishek

Joaquin Benoit

Nick Vincent

Joel Peralta

27

Braves

Arodys Vizcaino

Jim Johnson

Chris Withrow

28

Rangers

Sam Dyson

Jake Diekman

Matt Bush

Shawn Tolleson

29

Twins

Kevin Jepsen

Trevor May

Ryan Presley

Glen Perkins (DL)

30

Reds

Tony Cingrani

Ross Ohlendorf

Blake Wood

Raisel Iglesias (DL)

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