Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated June 10)
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: Since Orioles manager Brandon Hyde hinted that he'd move away from Valdez in favor of a closer-by-committee, Fry and Sulser each has a save apiece. Fry has a 2.89 ERA, two holds and a save in his past eight appearances, seven of them working in the eighth or ninth inning, while Sulser has nine consecutive scoreless appearances. (6/8) ... The Rays continue to take a closer-by-committee approach to their bullpen, but Castillo continues to get the bulk of the highest-leverage work, and he has recorded each of the team's past two successful saves. Feyereisen, however, has three saves since coming over via trade from the Brewers, and his 1.958 average leverage index says he's a strong contender for the ninth each night. Ryan Thompson, Peter Fairbanks and Andrew Kittredge are also prospective committee candidates. (6/9) ... Romano has pitched the ninth inning of each of his past five appearances, including recording both of the Blue Jays' two saves during that time span. (6/8)
NOTES: Clase has been the superior pitcher of late, posting a 0.87 ERA with three saves and two holds in his past 10 appearances, while pitching the regulation final frame of each of his past five games. During the same time span, Karinchak has a 6.30 ERA, four saves and one hold, but has also walked 10-of-49 batters. This is probably a bit of a partnership, but Clase might be slightly in the lead. (6/8) ... Cisnero has notched both of the Tigers' saves since the team placed Michael Fulmer on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder injury, giving Cisnero four holds, two saves and a 0.84 ERA in his past 12 appearances. Cisnero appears to have stepped into Fulmer's former right-handed part of the closer partnership with Soto. (6/9) ... Staumont, who notched two of the Royals' three saves leading into his May 28 placement on the injured list, was activated and worked the eighth inning on June 6. It was a signal that this remains a closer-by-committee, with Holland, Scott Barlow and Kyle Zimmer also part of the mix. (6/8) ... Rogers saved the Twins' June 6 win with Robles setting him up, with a vice-versa arrangement in their June 5 victory. In each, Rogers handled the heart of the opposing Royals' lineup, as sure a signal as any that this is another of the league's many partnership closer arrangements, with one handling the higher-leverage work (Rogers) and the other handling the easier chances (Robles). (6/8)
NOTES: Is the Athletics' closer partnership shifting in favor of Trivino? Perhaps, as the right-hander has each of the team's past three successful save conversions, with a 0.00 ERA in his past 10 appearances, and his June 8 didn't appear to be a lefty-righty matchups decision. This is a competition to watch. (6/9) ... No Kendall Graveman, no problem. With Graveman still sidelined, Mariners manager Scott Servais has thrust Middleton into Graveman's former closer partnership role with Montero. There hasn't been a clear angle between these two as there was with Montero/Graveman, where the latter got the higher-leverage spots in the game, but Middleton does seem to be Servais' first read when things are tighter in the game. (6/8) ... The Rangers placed Ian Kennedy on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain on June 10, pressing them into a committee arrangement until the right-hander is eligible to return. Sborz, Martin and Joely Rodriguez are the three most logical choices to close on any given night. (6/10)
NOTES: With Martin now back from finger and shoulder injuries and Shane Greene added to the active roster, the Braves suddenly have a lot of viable setup candidates. A.J. Minter is also a clear part of the eighth-inning mix. (6/8) ... A change doesn't appear imminent here, despite Garcia surrendering runs in three of his past four appearances, but Bass' performance since his demotion from the closer role warrants mention as far as next-in-line candidates: Eight holds, 1.89 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 22 appearances. (6/8) ... The Phillies have been mixing and matching their setup corps, with Brogdon, Jose Alvarado and Sam Coonrod getting the majority of the eighth-inning work, but Brogdon was the one called upon to close on June 5, while Neris was on the paternity leave list. (6/8)
NOTES: The Cubs' bullpen, on the whole, has been exceptional of late, with a major league-leading 1.43 ERA in the past 30 days. Kimbrel has been fine in the closer role, but if a fill-in were needed, Tepera has tossed 13 scoreless appearances and Andrew Chafin 11 scoreless during that same time span, with the duo totaling 14 holds. (6/8) ... Sims saved three of the Reds' four June 3-6 wins during their series at St. Louis, with Antone setting him up in each. These two now appear head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the team's bullpen, and manager David Bell's tendency to hold Antone back for multi-inning, high-leverage work earlier in the game signals that this might finally be Sims' exclusive closer role. (6/8) ... While Williams is widely considered both the Brewers' primary setup man and next-in-line to close should anything happen to Hader, we must point out this: Brad Boxberger has nine straight scoreless appearances, totaling three holds and one Hader's-night-off save, while Williams has zero saves in 2021. (6/8)
NOTES: It's tough to notch any saves when you've lost 29 of your past 35 games, as the Diamondbacks have, but Crichton has the team's only traditional save during that rough stretch. Soria has a 3.24 ERA and one hold in his past nine appearances, and is probably next in line. (6/8) ... Though this appears to be a closer partnership, Rogers has four of the Giants' five ninth-inning save chances since May 19, successfully converting three of them. McGee's last save, on May 30, came with left-handed hitters Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux the first two he faced, so this might well be a straight lefty-righty arrangement. (6/8)