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Closer Report: Cabrera, Romo, Ottovino on the verge?

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Ray updates his closer rankings for Week 16, and there might be some relievers on the verge of taking over the closer role in Atlanta, San Francisco and Colorado.

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Well, best laid intentions don’t always work out as planned. I wanted to publish the Closer Report every week, but life can get in the way at times. There have been several closers go down with injuries over the last few weeks, so we have some back end of the bullpen roles up for grabs in several major league cities, including:

Atlanta

Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain, which could keep him out of action for at least a month. Braves manager Brian Snitker indicated that Jim Johnson will get the first chance at save opportunities with Vizcaino down, but Mauricio Cabrera has already been called upon to close two games when Vizcaino was healthy, and he owns a fastball that reaches triple digits, so he could be used in the role as well. I picked up Cabrera in one of my NL only keeper leagues where I am rebuilding, with the hope that Vizcaino would be dealt at the trade deadline. He could still be traded, but the chances are much smaller now that he is on the DL.

San Francisco

As a Santiago Casilla owner, it has not been fun watching him blow save opportunities over the last few weeks, but his most recent blown save was the strangest, to say the least. Casilla balked in the winning run in a game over the weekend, as he stumbled on the mound in his windup. After putting up an ERA under 2.50 in each of the first two months of the season, Casilla has struggled over the last month plus, putting up an ERA over 6.00 in June and his July ERA currently sits at 4.50. He has struck out more batters than ever thus far, but has been more hittable as well. Could Sergio Romo take over now that he is healthy? He has struck out five in 3.1 innings since his return from the DL, and has yet to give up a run. A few more blown saves by Casilla could thrust Romo into the closer role.

Colorado

Former closer Adam Ottovino was recently activated from the disabled list, and manager Walt Weiss indicated he would take it slow with him before giving him late inning duties. He has made four appearances since returning, striking out 2 and walking 1 in his 2.1 innings of work. Carlos Estevez converted his latest save opportunity over the weekend, and has struck out 6 and walked 1 since in 4 innings of work since Ottovino's return, so he knows his role could change with a few bad outings. Weiss recently stated that Ottovino is a big league closer, so it is no secret he sees him as his closer down the road. I am kicking myself for not picking up Ottovino in one of my NL only keeper leagues, but I do own Estevez.

Boston

Craig Kimbrel will miss the next 3-6 weeks due to a knee injury that required surgery, so Koji Uehara will get the first chance at save opportunities in the Red Sox pen. The day before Kimbrel was placed on the disabled list, the Red Sox traded for Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler, so he could get some save chances over the next month and a half with Kimbrel down. Uehara has been pretty dominant this season, but he has given up a ton of home runs as well, so if that trend continues, the ground ball specialist will see some time as the Red Sox ninth inning reliever.

Onto my Week 16 closer rankings

Week 16 Closer Rankings

Rank

Team

Name

Second Option

Third Option

Sleeper

1

Yankees

Aroldis Chapman

Andrew Miller

Dellin Betances

2

Dodgers

Kenley Jansen

Pedro Baez

Joe Blanton

3

Orioles

Zach Britton

Brad Brach

Mychal Givens

Darren O'Day (DL)

4

Mets

Jeurys Familia

Hansel Robles

Addison Reed

5

Marlins

A.J. Ramos

Fernando Rodney

David Phelps

Kyle Barraclough

6

Royals

Wade Davis

Kelvin Herrera

Joakim Soria

7

Pirates

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

Neftali Feliz

8

White Sox

David Robertson

Nate Jones

Zach Duke

9

Rays

Alex Colome

Xavier Cedeno

Erasmo Ramirez

Brad Boxberger (DL)

10

Cubs

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Justin Grimm

11

Brewers

Jeremy Jeffress

Tyler Thornburg

Will Smith

12

Indians

Cody Allen

Bryan Shaw

Zach McAllister

13

Blue Jays

Roberto Osuna

Jason Grilli

Joe Biagini

Drew Storen

14

Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon

Shawn Kelley

Blake Treinen

15

Cardinals

Seung-Hwan Oh

Kevin Siegrist

Jonathan Broxton

Trevor Rosenthal

16

Red Sox

Koji Uehara

Brad Ziegler

Junichi Tazawa

Craig Kimbrel (DL)

17

Astros

Will Harris

Luke Gregerson

Ken Giles

Michael Feliz

18

Giants

Santiago Casilla

Sergio Romo

Hunter Strickland

Josh Osich

19

Athletics

Ryan Madson

Ryan Dull

John Axford

Sean Doolittle

20

Phillies

Jeanmar Gomez

Hector Neris

Edubray Ramos

21

Rangers

Sam Dyson

Keone Kela

Matt Bush

Jake Diekman

22

Tigers

Francisco Rodriguez

Justin Wilson

Shane Greene

Bruce Rondon

23

Rockies

Carlos Estevez

Jason Motte

Jake McGee

Adam Ottovino

24

Mariners

Steve Cishek

Joaquin Benoit

Edwin Diaz

Nick Vincent

25

Reds

Tony Cingrani

Ross Ohlendorf

Raisel Iglesias

26

Braves

Jim Johnson

Mauricio Cabrera

Chris Withrow

Arodys Vizcaino (DL)

27

Diamondbacks

Tyler Clippard

Daniel Hudson

Jake Barrett

28

Padres

Brandon Mauer

Ryan Buchter

Kevin Quackenbush

29

Angels

Huston Street

Joe Smith

Fernando Salas

Cam Bedrosian

30

Twins

Brandon Kintzler

Fernando Abad

Ryan Pressly



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