Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated August 6)
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: Sulser converted a two-inning save on Aug. 2, putting himself at the front of what seemed previously like a closer-by-committee. Givens and Tanner Scott could also be factors. (8/3) ... Aroldis Chapman (COVID-19) is scheduled to resume throwing on Monday and could reclaim his closer's job within the week. Britton continues to fill in in the meantime. (8/3) ... Anderson converted his first save of 2020 on Aug. 4, and Drake has a pair of saves, both as members of the Rays' closer-by-committee. Anderson will probably lead the team in total chances, but either pitcher plus Jose Alvarado or Diego Castillo could get the call in the ninth on any given night. (8/5) ... Bass converted his first save chance on July 27, after taking over the role from Ken Giles (elbow, IL). Dolis and Jordan Romano should handle the primary setup roles. (7/28)
NOTES: Karinchek impressed in a save chance on Hand's night off on July 30, perhaps making this closer situation more interesting. Hand struggled in his most recent opportunity, after all. (7/31) ... Rosenthal successfully converted a save on July 30, with Holland and 2019 closer Ian Kennedy working in setup duty. There might still be a committee picture here, but Rosenthal, who served in the closer role under Mike Matheny in St. Louis previously, seems the best bet. (7/31) ... The Twins have gotten saves from three different relievers through 10 games: Rogers (3), Romo (2) and Trevor May (1), as good a sign as any that manager Rocco Baldelli prefers a committee approach to closing games. Rogers is still his first choice most nights. (8/5)
NOTES: Tommy John surgery has been recommended for Roberto Osuna, who will seek a second opinion before deciding. Pressly should be the fill-in for the remainder of 2020, though he had battled early-season injuries as well. Cy Sneed or Blake Taylor might be called upon to close if Pressly is unavailable on any night or suffers an injury setback, but the team's decision to shift Josh James to the bullpen could put him in the closer mix in the coming days. (8/6) ... Angels manager Joe Maddon said that Hansel Robles will work in lower-leverage spots due to his early struggles, and that the team will use a closer-by-committee in Robles' place. Buttrey recorded the save on Aug. 4, but Pena, Keynan Middleton and Hoby Milner will likely also be involved. (8/5) ... Williams has two of the Mariners' saves and Altavilla and Carl Edwards Jr. one apiece. Matt Magill has been a total non-factor in the ninth. This appears to be a committee, through and through, but for a team likely to finish beneath .500. (8/6) ... Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Aug. 1 that he'll go with a closer-by-committee arrangement in Jose Leclerc's (shoulder) absence, specifically mentioning Volquez and Jonathan Hernandez as candidates in addition to Goody. Rafael Montero (elbow) could also become a candidate once he returns from the IL during the Aug. 8-9 weekend. (8/6)
NOTES: Will Smith is expected to serve as Melancon's primary setup man, and perhaps challenger to close, when healthy. Smith was cleared to rejoin the Braves on July 26. (7/27) ... The Marlins have several pitchers on the COVID-19 injured list, so the primary setup role behind Kintzler is up for grabs. Boxberger, Richard Bleier, James Hoyt and Stephen Tarpley seem like the top candidates. (8/6) ... Lugo converted a two-inning save on Aug. 5, his second save of 2020, but this looks like a closer-by-committee, as Mets manager Luis Rojas indicated before the season. Anyone from Lugo to Familia to Dellin Betances to Edwin Diaz to Justin Wilson could get the call on any given night. (8/6) ... Neris is now healthy enough to close, but the identity of his setup man is a total unknown. Morgan, Jose Alvarez, Victor Arano and Blake Parker could all factor in the eighth inning. (7/22) ... Hudson has each of the Nationals' two saves this season, as Sean Doolittle has been relegated to middle relief due to a decline in average fastball velocity. Rainey and Javy Guerra have been the team's most common setup men. (8/6)
NOTES: Kimbrel was pulled from another save opportunity on Aug. 4, and while Kyle Ryan finished off that game, Wick has been the Cubs' most common fill-in to begin the ninth. Jeremy Jeffress pitched the eighth on Aug. 5, indicating he's Wick's most likely setup man. (8/6) ... The Reds have a fair share of depth in their setup corps, with Pedro Strop and Robert Stephenson supporting Lorenzen in the seventh and eighth innings. (7/22) ... Knebel has displayed good velocitu during Summer Camp, and could be ready to serve as Hader's primary setup man on Opening Day, if not a contender for save chances outright. (7/20) ... With Nick Burdi's (elbow) placement on the 45-day IL, the Pirates' bullpen is now without him, Keone Kela (COVID-19), Kyle Crick (shoulder) and Michael Feliz (forearm). Kela has been cleared to return and manager Derek Shelton has said Kela will close once ready, but if there is a save chance in the meantime, Rodriguez is the favorite for it. (8/6) ... With the announcement that Kim will move into the Cardinals' rotation to replace the injured Carlos Martinez, manager Mike Shildt said he'll play the matchups to close games for now. Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos, Andrew Miller and Tyler Webb are four of the most logical candidates. (8/6)
NOTES: Rondon, Andrew Chafin and Kevin Ginkel could all be used interchangeably in the eighth inning. (7/22) ... With Wade Davis (shoulder) joining Scott Oberg (blood clots in arm), Diaz takes over as the Rockies' closer. Estevez appears the most likely primary setup man. (8/3) ... Baez got the save on Jansen's night off on July 30, indicating that he, rather than Blake Treinen, is next in line for Dodgers saves. (7/31) ... Gott has each of the Giants' three saves through their first 13 games of 2020, while Rogers has handled the eighth in three of the team's wins. This no longer appears to be a committee. (8/6)