Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated August 20)
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: Workman is 2-of-3 converting saves with a 1.23 ERA in seven August appearances, shaping up as the leading man in the Red Sox's closer-by-committee. Walden, Andrew Cashner and Matt Barnes look like the top setup options behind him, especially with Nathan Eovaldi now expected to move back into the team's rotation. ... Giles has been battling an elbow injury almost nonstop since the All-Star break, and his availability on any given night has been hit-or-miss. Law is a perfect 3-for-3 converting saves with seven scoreless appearances in the month of August (through Aug. 14), establishing himself as the clear fill-in on nights when Giles is unavailable.
NOTES: The Tigers' trade of Shane Greene cleared the closer role for Jimenez, who has been the team's closer-of-the-future for some time now, and Jimenez successfully converted each of his first two opportunities (through Aug. 14). ... Rogers has struggled a bit of late, converting 6-of-9 save chances with a 5.14 ERA in 12 appearances since the All-Star break and looking especially shaky when working on consecutive days. That has opened the ninth inning to a Twins closer-by-committee, with Romo converting a pair of saves since his acquisition. Sam Dyson and Trevor May could also be factors on any given night.
NOTES: Hendriks is a perfect 4-for-4 converting saves with five scoreless appearances in the month of August (through Aug. 14), while the man he replaced as Athletics closer, Blake Treinen, has a 10.13 in five appearances during the same time frame. ... The trades of both Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland to the Nationals left the Mariners with effectively no obvious candidate to close, though Bass had been used the most in late-and-close situations in July and figures to lead any short-term committee. Austin Adams might figure into the mix once healthy, as might Sam Tuivalaila once he works himself up to full speed Gearrin is also an option.. ... Rangers manager Chris Woodward said on Aug. 6 that he believed Leclerc has earned his way back into the team's closer role, despite the healthy return of Shawn Kelley, who had previously handled those duties. Kelley and Emmanuel Clase are expected to share the setup duties.
NOTES: Melancon successfully converted save chances on both Aug. 17 and 18, with Greene setting him up on both occasions. It appears that the former is the Braves' closer of choice, though Greene would probably get a chance next if Melancon struggles at any point. Luke Jackson and Sean Newcomb are probably third and fourth in line. ... Stanek received the Marlins' most recent ninth-inning save chance, on Aug. 18, and promptly blew it. It's unclear whether he'll get more chances in the coming days, but Garcia and Jose Quijada have also been getting late-inning work of late and might factor into any committee. ... The Mets' closer picture is cloudy after Lugo had a shaky outing working the seveth inning on Aug. 14, though he had converted the team's previous successful save. He seems like the favorite most nights, though Diaz might still work his way into the mix. Also of note: Jeurys Familia has a 1.29 ERA in his eight August appearances. ... With Sean Doolittle (knee, IL) sidelined, the Nationals plan a closer-by-committee in his absence. Rodney is listed first only because he had been getting the majority of the eighth-inning work behind Doolittle when the left-hander was healthy, but Strickland and Daniel Hudson are also candidates to handle save chances in the short term.
NOTES: The Cubs activated Craig Kimbrel from the injured list on Aug. 18, and he surrendered a home run while striking out two batters in that night's game. He's back in the Cubs' closer role, but his shaky performance in his past five appearances does cast some doubt upon his effectiveness initially. ... Iglesias' 4.30 ERA illustrates his inconsistency all season, though he converted successful saves on July 27, 28 and 31 to ride a streak of three scoreless appearances. The closer role in Cincinnati appears to still be his.
NOTES: Bradley has converted each of the Diamondbacks' past two saves since he took over from Greg Holland in the role, and Bradley is now riding a streak of 11 scoreless appearances (through Aug. 6). He looks like the team's clear go-to option in the ninth. ... Scott Oberg (blood clot, IL) is out for the season, re-opening the Rockies' closer job for Davis. Davis did struggle in his first save chance since being reinstalled into the role, so any of the team's setup corps, including McGee, Jairo Diaz, Carlos Estevez or Bryan Shaw could work his way into the picture.