Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated June 19)
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: Though it wasn't a save chance, the Orioles used Brad Brach to set up and Zach Britton to finish their June 17 victory with both pitchers doing so effectively, signaling that Britton is now likely to receive the team's next save chance. ... The Rays have been using a true closer-by-committee -- along with their fourth-and-fifth-starters-by-committee strategy -- that includes Sergio Romo, Chaz Roe and Jose Alvarado.
NOTES: With Nate Jones (DL: arm) sidelined, Jace Fry is serving as the White Sox's primary setup man. ... Following the trade of Kelvin Herrera, the Royals gave no indication of who might close for them in his stead. Kevin McCarthy and Brandon Maurer are the two most logical candidates, but with no individual pitcher on the roster pitching effectively enough to be an obvious choice, most anyone could get chances in the near future.
NOTES: It's anyone's guess who is Astros manager A.J. Hinch's choice to close games on any given night, but Hector Rondon has three of the Astros' past four saves (through June 17) while frequently working the ninth in non-save chances, while Ken Giles had the other save of those four opportunities. Rondon, Giles, Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock could each still be considered for future save chances as matchups dictate.
NOTES: Jeurys Familia pitched the eighth inning in his return from the disabled list with Robert Gsellman notching the save for the Mets on June 17, but Familia should recapture his closer's job in the near future. ... Following the Nationals' acquisition of Kelvin Herrera on June 18, manager Dave Martinez said "For me, we have an all-star closer right now ... so [Herrera] will be asked to do some different things." That indicates that Sean Doolittle, the majors' No. 7 relief pitcher in terms of WAR this season (1.5), should continue to serve in the closer role.
NOTES: With Carl Edwards Jr. (DL: shoulder) sidelined, Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop have been sharing setup duty for the Cubs. ... Greg Holland (DL: hip) is expected to rejoin the Cardinals' bullpen sometime during the week of June 18, but he'll have to prove his worth in middle relief before moving back into setup or closer consideration.
NOTES: The Padres have been mixing and matching their top two relievers by game situation, which might mean fewer saves for Brad Hand and more for Kirby Yates going forward. ... Mark Melancon has been activated by the Giants and will work in a setup capacity initially, though he could be in the mix for saves if he pitches well in the coming days.