Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated May 25)
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.
Aroldis Chapman's injury opens the door for Clay Holmes
With Aroldis Chapman on the IL, Tristan H. Cockcroft believes Clay Holmes has the potential to be a top-five fantasy closer.
NOTES: Keep tabs on the Red Sox's bullpen, as Barnes might again be making this a closer competition. The right-hander, who was widely expected to begin the season in the role before he showed noticeably diminished fastball velocity during spring training, has seen said velocity recover somewhat in May, and he closed the team's 6-5 victory on May 21. Robles, meanwhile, blew the save on May 22. Jake Diekman has also been involved in the late frames. (5/25) ... The Yankees placed Aroldis Chapman (Achilles'), who had surrendered runs in each of his previous five appearances for the first time in his career, on the 15-day injured list on May 24, another blow to a bullpen that had also recently lost Chad Green for the season to Tommy John surgery. Clay Holmes, who had been sneaking in save chances between Chapman's inconsistent outings in recent weeks, is by far the top choice to replace Chapman in the ninth inning, but manager Aaron Boone could also occasionally play the matchups to close games. Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta and Michael King might all factor into such a strategy. (5/25) ... The Rays placed Andrew Kittredge (back), their team leader with five of their 11 saves, on the 15-day injured list on May 22, shifting their closer picture back to that of a clear committee in which any reliever could occupy the role on any given night. Thompson, Raley, Colin Poche, Matt Wisler, J.P. Feyereisen and Jalen Beeks could all be candidates to close games while Kittredge is out. (5/25) ... The Blue Jays placed Tim Mayza (forearm inflammation) on the 15-day injured list on May 16, so Cimber, Yimi Garcia and Trevor Richards will likely continue to share the primary setup chores ahead of Romano in the left-hander's absence. (5/25)
NOTES: While the Twins appear to be a closer-by-committee style bullpen under manager Rocco Baldelli, Duran's skill set has the closest look to that of a clear "closer" from the candidates list. Pagan and Tyler Duffey, however, are also in the mix for ninth-inning work. (5/25)
NOTES: Despite Trivino's return from the COVID injured list on May 3, Jimenez has converted each of the Athletics' past five successful saves, including most recently on May 24. Trivino, in fact, has entered in the sixth inning of each of his past three appearances, so the case can be made that Zach Jackson has every bit the claim to the next-in-line role as the team's Opening Day closer does. (5/25) ... The Mariners got Drew Steckenrider back in action for their May 19-22 weekend series at Boston, after he was on the restricted list for their previous series at Toronto, and will presumably toss him back into their closer-by-committee arrangement along with Sewald and Castillo. (5/25)
NOTES: The Marlins haven't had many save chances to distribute since Floro's activation on May 9, and the right-hander, who finished the 2021 season as the team's closer, has pitched in five losses in his six appearances thus far. This might well be a closer-by-committee picture that also involves Bender, Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott. (5/25) ... The Mets seem to be going committee-style to set closer Diaz up, with the group including Ottavino, Drew Smith, Seth Lugo and Joely Rodriguez. Trevor May (triceps) was moved to the 60-day injured list on May 15 and will be sidelined until nearly the All-Star break. (5/25)
NOTES: The Cubs activated Robertson from the COVID injured list on May 18, and immediately thrust him back into the ninth inning of their game that day, going Mychal Givens, Wick, Robertson in the seventh through ninth frames. That should be their typical order to close out victories. (5/25) ... The Reds placed Lucas Sims (bulging disc in back) on the 15-day injured list on May 12, opening back up their closer role. Warren has been getting the most high-leverage work and figures to get the majority of the save chances in Sims' absence. Santillan and Luis Cessa could also be involved, and keep an eye on Alexis Diaz, who is off to a superb start and might quickly move up in the pecking order. (5/25) ... Bednar has each of the Pirates' past seven successful save conversions, with Stratton directly setting him up in four of them. It appears that Bednar has firmly taken over the team's full-time closer role, after beginning the year in a partnership with Stratton. (5/25) ... The Cardinals had Helsley close their May 21 victory, a game in which Gallegos was unavailable, and interestingly, they then had Gallegos pitch the eighth and Helsley the ninth innings of their May 23 win that didn't offer a save situation in either frame. Helsley's early-season excellence has now made this a competition for the closer chores. (5/25)