Another week in fantasy baseball has given us new names at the top tiers, a couple of pitchers rising to the top of committees, the nearing of the trade deadline, and the testing of our patience (I am looking at you Familia). Every week I will break down what changed in the land of fantasy baseball relief pitching, as well as update my closer tiers. Let’s take a look at the news and notes in this week’s Closing Remarks: MLB Closer Report.
Shane Grenne has been placed on the disabled list, making Joe Jiminez a must-add and possible top-15 option for the rest of the season. Pick him up folks.
A Trein Is Coming Through
If Blake Treinen were on the Red Sox or Dodgers, I feel that he would be right up there with Chapman and Kimbrel in the top tier. He has been that good. The only thing keeping him back right now is the Athletics, but they are not keeping him back by much. To be honest, he has been the best closer in baseball thus far in my opinion.
Treinen now has an All-Star level 0.89 ERA and 0.91 WHIP through 40 2/3 innings. The Oakland closer has compiled 21 saves this season to go with his impressive 10.84 K/9. It looks like Treinen has figured it all out this season and this may be his new “norm” for production. If you are looking to add a reliever via trade, this is your guy. Top tier production with a bottom tier name.
He’s a Stone Cold Kela
1.86 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 13.0 K/9
Pretty Good huh? That is what Texas closer Keone Kela has been up to this past month on his way to picking up nine saves. He has pure swing and miss potential (12.4% swinging strike rate) and has plenty of advanced metrics to back up his performance. His 3.41 ERA is backed up by an impressive 2.65 FIP which should give fantasy owners encouragement for his rest of season outlook.
He and Treinen make for fine trade targets due to the elite numbers they bring along with the “no name” discount that comes with them. Be sure to pay attention though, as Kela is a also a prime target to be traded in real life.
Our Patience Is Running Thin.
Jeurys Familia has not been good. His team has been even worse. The Mets closer carries a 3.48 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, both of which are hard to look at for a fantasy owner. He also has, for lack of a better term, a “choking” problem. If the game is on the line or has any real significance, he is likely to blow it. That is not what the Mets want to see and sure is not what fantasy owners want to see either.
Familia is very unlikely lose his job in Queens, but he is an almost certain bet to be traded before the July deadline. It would also be hard to imagine a team trading for him to “close” as apposed to setting up. Heart (guts) concerns, elbow concerns, team concerns, and role concerns should make every fantasy owner afraid to own Familia right now. Send out a few offers and take fifty cents on the dollar if you can.
Zach Britton, like Familia, is also very likely to be traded this month. The former All-Star has been hot and cold since returning from the disabled list. Not too bad, but bad enough to cost many fantasy owners some head-to-head matchups. He will run with the closer’s role all the way through the trade deadline so the Orioles can showcase him, but after that it’s hard to see Britton retaining much fantasy value. Like Familia, Britton will likely land in a spot that demotes him into a setup role on a contending team. I have more faith in Britton landing a closing role than I do Familia, but it is still enough for his current value to stay stagnant.
The Closer Tiers
The Cream of the Crop
Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals
Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics
He is the best closer in the league right now.
The Next Best Thing
Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
Brad Hand, San Diego Padres
Is Hand a good closer? Sure.
Is he going to get traded? Probably.
Is he going to close where he gets traded? Unlikely.
Pick up Kirby Yates. You’re welcome.
Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers
Brandon Morrow, Chicago Cubs
Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians
Keone Kela, Texas Rangers
Fernando Rodney, Minnesota Twins
Kyle Barraclough, Miami Marlins
Barraclough is starting to show flashes of brilliance. It took the Miami closer just 10 pitches to take care of the Mets Saturday, with four swinging strikes. Not to mention three of those were on his amazing slider. He should continue to climb, despite pitching for the Marlins.
The “Meh” Tier
Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies
4.96 BB/9 for a guy that throws most of his games at Coors Field? Hard pass.
Brad Boxberger, Arizona Diamondbacks
Felipe Vasquez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Over the last two weeks, Vazquez has thrown over six scoreless innings with a 12:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Vazquez has suffered from a high BABIP (.330) and should be in for some positive regression in strand rate. There is light at the end of the tunnel in Pittsburgh. However, he will remain in the “meh” tier until he can translate that into some real results.
Hector Rondon, Houston Astros
R.I.P Ken Giles
Bud Norris, St. Louis Cardinals
Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
A.J. Minter * (Arodys Vizcaino), Atlanta Braves
Vizcaino should be back this week. We will just have to wait and see how his shoulder looks. Just don’t drop A.J Minter just yet.
The Runts of the Litter
Joakim Soria, Chicago White Sox
Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers
The only thing going for Shane Greene is job security. Why is that? The tigers simply have no one else.
**UPDATE: Shane Greene placed on the 10-day DL. Feel free to pick up Joe Jimenez, he’s the guy.
Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays
I guess he is the closer? Who knows. Better yet...who cares? Avoid this situation.
Wily Peralta, Kansas City Royals
He sure looks the Royals closer. Do I want any part of that? Nope. But if you are in need, he is your man.
Committees Make Me Sad
Hector Neris, Seranthony Dominguez, Luis, Garcia, Edubray Ramos, Philadelphia Phillies
Why is Seranthony not the closer? ........oh, you thought I knew? No. I thought maybe you knew....
Blake Parker*, Los Angeles Angels
Ryan Tepera, Tyler Clippard, Sueng Hwan Oh, Toronto Blue Jays
Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Will Smith San Francisco Giants
The Fresh Prince looks like he may be the add here to be honest, but I would stick with Melancon as the guy right now.
On The Mend
Keynan Middleton, Los Angeles Angels (out for the season)
Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants
Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves
Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays