Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated June 14)
The chart below breaks down all 30 major-league teams' bullpens in terms of relievers' proximity to the closer role, not their overall fantasy value. Teams are broken down by division.
"CLOSER" is either that team's officially designated closer, or the pitcher most likely to get the team's next save chance. "NEXT IN LINE" is the pitcher next-most likely to take over if something happens to the closer, or the one who might get any save chances on the closer's nights off. "NOTES" beneath each division's chart provide detail on teams' closer situations that might have an unusual wrinkle, like an injury to the typical closer requiring a short term fill-in, or a committee situation.
NOTES: The Orioles have wins in their past 21 games (through June 9), and each was saved by a different reliever: Givens (June 4), Castro (June 8), Shawn Armstrong (May 27), Richard Bleier (May 31) and Josh Lucas (May 25). Each could be a candidate to close in this team's clear committee picture, but keep in mind the Orioles might not have many chances to give out. ... The Red Sox's closer picture is a true committee, with anyone from Barnes, Walden, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier or Heath Hembree a candidate on any given night. ... Jose Alvarado is currently on the restricted list due to a family issue, but he should rejoin the mix for Rays saves once he returns to the team. ... With Ken Giles (elbow, IL) sidelined, the Blue Jays are expected to turn to Biagini first to close games for them, though on June 12, in their first save chance without Giles, Biagini struggled while working the eighth inning and Daniel Hudson earned the save in the ninth. It's unclear whether that signaled Hudson taking over the gig, but keep an eye on the Blue Jays' next chance.
NOTES: Since May 1, Parker (3), Rogers (3), Mike Morin (1) and Ryne Parker (1) have all converted saves for the Twins, as good a hint as any that manager Rocco Baldelli views his closer situation as a committee. Parker and Rogers appear to be the clear two favorites based upon recent usage: In the team's past 10 games (May 30-June 9), no other pitcher has appeared in a ninth-inning save situation.
NOTES: Bedrosian earled the save on Hansel Robles' night off on June 13, signaling his moving into the primary setup role ahead of Ty Buttrey, who has a 4.66 ERA in his past nine appearances. ... Since Rangers manager Chris Woodward's June 5 declaration that Leclerc is "getting close" to recapturing the closer role, the right-hander has surrendered three runs on four hits in a pair of appearances (through June 9), while Kelley has converted his only save chance (on June 6). Leclerc does still have a 3.12 ERA, 30 K's and six walks in his past 15 appearances (17 1/3 innings), but a change doesn't appear to be imminent.
NOTES: Romo was shelled on June 9, surrendering four runs in an inning's work, and he now has a 5.14 ERA in 13 appearances since May 1. The Marlins haven't given any hints that a change in closers is on the horizon, but they could consider Anderson or Tayron Guerrero in the coming weeks if Romo continues to struggle. ... Neris appears the Phillies' go-to guy in the ninth inning, evidenced by his recording each of the team's past six saves while posting a 1.59 ERA in 10 appearances during that span (May 17-June 9). It's the setup corps behind him that is somewhat in question, due to injuries to David Robertson (elbow, IL), Pat Neshek (shoulder, IL) and Seranthony Dominguez (elbow, IL). Nicasio, Juan Alvarez, Edgar Garcia and Vince Velasquez could all factor into the mix.
NOTES: The Cubs and Craig Kimbrel reportedly came to terms on June 5, and it's fair to presume he'll take over as the team's closer once he's up to full speed. He might require a week or two of minor league appearances first, but once ready, he should assume the role from Strop, who recently returned from the IL. ... Hicks, Martinez and John Gant each has a successful save conversion in June (through June 9), hinting that the Cardinals might be using a committee approach to closing games. Hicks has still made only ninth-inning appearances in his past six games, so he seems like the frontrunner each night, though he does have a 6.75 ERA during that span.
NOTES: The Rockies activated Davis (oblique) from the IL on June 7, and are expected to install him back into their closer role, pushing Oberg back to setup relief.