Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated July 9)
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' past four successful save conversions, working backwards from July 7, went to Fry, Shawn Armstrong, Givens and Miguel Castro. It seems clear that this team utilizes a closer-by-committee, but it's not a fruitful one for fantasy, as those were the team's only saves in their final 29 first-half contests. ... The Red Sox have gotten saves most recently from Heath Hembree, Workman, Ryan Brasier, Josh Smith and Barnes, working backwards from July 8, as they continue to use a committee to close games. Barnes, who has seemed the odds-on-favorite for the most chances, is 0-for-3 converting saves with a 7.94 ERA in his past 14 appearances (through July 8). Workman has a 1.50 ERA in his past 12 outings, but is only 1-for-4 converting saves. There's even talk that Nathan Eovaldi (elbow, IL) could be installed as closer when he's activated shortly after the All-Star break. ... Pagan appears back as the Rays' preferred closer, following injuries to Diego Castillo (shoulder, IL) and Jose Alvarado (oblique, IL), the latter likely to sideline Alvarado for 6-8 weeks. Drake, Adam Kolarek and Colin Poche have been sharing the setup duties of late, and any could factor into the saves mix when matchups call. Castillo could be back before the end of July.
NOTES: Rogers notched each of the Twins' final three first-half saves and six of their past seven, signaling that he's now the team's go-to option in the ninth. May, Blake Parker, Tyler Duffey and Ryne Harper have all seen setup work in recent weeks.
NOTES: The Athletics activated Treinen on July 3, with manager Bob Melvin saying at the time that the right-hander would reclaim his closer role after possibly working initially in lower-leverage situations. Hendriks, however, has since notched a pair of saves and has had three scoreless appearances, all of them with him appearing in the ninth inning of either a tie game or in a save situation, while Treinen had a shaky first outing back (July 3). It's unclear how quickly Treinen will overtake Hendriks. ... Austin Adams (shoulder, IL) had a team-leading seven holds during the final first-half month for the Mariners, though in his absence, Bass should handle the bulk of the setup duties. ... Martin had a pair of saves and a pair of holds in the final month of the first half, signaling his moving ahead of Jose Leclerc as Kelley's primary setup man.
NOTES: Minter has three wins, four holds and is 1-for-2 converting saves in 12 appearances since his recall from the minors. He has also made the majority of those appearances in late-and-close situations, signaling his moving back into the next-in-line role for saves behind Jackson. That said, Anthony Swarzak (shoulder, IL) did have 13 consecutive scoreless appearances totaling nine holds and one save before getting hurt, so once he returns shortly after the All-Star break, there could be competition for late-inning roles in Atlanta. ... While Diaz and Lugo appear to be first and second in line for Mets saves, the team's entire bullpen has been a mess of late. In the final 15 days of the season's first half, Diaz had a 17.36 ERA and Lugo a 9.45 ERA, with the duo combining to go only 3-for-7 converting saves. ... While he has only a 3.38 ERA in his first six appearances since joining the Nationals, Rodney has picked up a pair of saves on Doolittle's off nights, signaling he's now the next-in-line for the role.
NOTES: After a rough June during which he had an 8.64 ERA and nine walks in as many appearances, Iglesias converted back-to-back saves to begin his July. Lorenzen is still a candidate to steal the occasional save chance, but Iglesias appears the Reds' go-to guy in the ninth. ... Jordan Hicks underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 26, with the Cardinals naming Martinez their replacement closer. It's possible, however, that Miller, John Gant and/or Giovanny Gallegos could still factor in the late-inning mix.
NOTES: Since Davis' activation from the IL on June 7, he's 5-for-7 converting saves with a 9.53 ERA in 12 appearances, while Oberg has a 0.55 ERA in the same number of outings (through July 8). Still, the Rockies appear committed to Davis in the ninth and Oberg the eighth.