Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated June 28)
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 Red Sox placed Tanner Houck, who had been serving as the team's closer recently, on the restricted list for their June 27-29 series in Toronto. Expect Houck to reclaim the role once the team travels to Chicago, but for now, Schreiber, Robles and Matt Strahm will probably handle the late frames as part of a committee. (6/28) ... Aroldis Chapman (Achilles', 15-day IL) is on track to rejoin the Yankees' bullpen sometime during the week of June 27, after which point he'll initially pitch in lower-leverage situations. Manager Aaron Boone added on June 27 that Holmes "has certainly earned that closer role," but that Chapman will become another "back-end monster" once he's up to full speed. This might soon be a closer partnership. (6/28) ... Rays manager Kevin Cash tends to utilize a closer-by-committee, with four different relievers having recorded saves in June and seven different relievers for the season. Adam and Poche continue to get the most high-leverage work, but Brooks Raley is also heavily involved and the team could also turn to Ralph Garza Jr., Ryan Thompson or Matt Wisler in the ninth. (6/28)
NOTES: The White Sox had Kelly convert their five save in Liam Hendriks' (forearm, 15-day IL) absence on June 20, but had Graveman close their June 26 victory, albeit in shaky fashion. Graveman might remain the team's most logical ninth-inning option, but this could be a partnership for now. (6/28) ... The Royals placed Josh Staumont on the 15-day injured list on June 26 due to a neck strain, leaving the eighth inning up for grabs. Clarke and Jose Cuas have been getting the most late-inning, high-leverage work among the candidates of late, so they should see the majority of that work. (6/28) ... The Twins continue to use a closer-by-committee to handle the ninth inning with a lead, with Duran, Pagan, Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran all recording a save in the month of June. Duran and Pagan continue to get the most high-leverage work. (6/28)
NOTES: In the absence of Dany Jimenez (shoulder, 15-day IL), Trivino closed both the Athletics' June 25 and 26 victories, seemingly recapturing the role he held to begin the season. Jackson continues to see the majority of the eighth-inning work. (6/28) ... The Mariners continue to utilize a closer-by-committee, in which Sewald and Castilo have been the most commonly used relievers in the ninth inning. Andres Munoz, Erik Swanson and Ken Giles, however, could also get opportunities. (6/28) ... The Rangers have been mixing and matching between Moore and Dennis Santana in the seventh and eighth innings recently. (6/28)
NOTES: The Braves unexpectedly placed usual closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day injured list on June 28 due to an irregular hearbeat, with no timetable given for his recovery. Minter had emerged as the team's primary setup man in recent weeks, making him the most logical choice to assume the closer role, though the team could also utilize a committee that would also include Smith and Collin McHugh. (6/28) ... Scott has each of the Marlins' past six successfui save conversions and a 2.53 ERA and 46.5% strikeout rate in his 11 June appearances, capturing the team's closer role. Okert, however, has been seeing increasing late-inning, high-leverage work of late, and is probably now the team's next-in-line. (6/28) ... Since Phillies manager Rob Thompson removed Corey Knebel from the closer role on June 15, Dominguez has two saves, Hand one and Andrew Bellatti one. Dominguez has both the skills and recent usage to stand ahead of what might remain a closer-by-committee, and he's probably only in such a partnership out of workload concerns, as indicated when Bellatti closed the team's June 26 victory rather than use Dominguez on back-to-back days. Jeurys Familia is the fourth prospective member of this committee. (6/28)
NOTES: The Reds are currently without Lucas Sims (back), Tony Santillan (back) and Alexis Diaz (biceps), thinning out what has been a closer-by-committee approach of late. Strickland's past experience as a closer probably puts him at the head of a thin group, one that rarely sees save chances on a rebuilding team besides, but Warren, Joel Kuhnel and Luis Cessa are also probably in the ninth-inning conversation. (6/28) ... Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol has been seemingly shuffling the ninth-inning mix between Helsley and Gallegos of late, though Helsley has four of the team's eight successful saves since May 21. This is a bit of a co-closership, though Helsley appears to have the upper hand. (6/28)
NOTES: Daniel Hudson, who had been serving as the Dodgers' primary setup man in recent weeks, suffered a torn left ACL on June 24, ending his season. He joins Blake Treinen (shoulder, 60-day IL) and Tommy Kahnle (forearm, 60-day IL) on the sidelines, leaving the team's setup corps in question. Graterol is the most logical choice to handle the eighth inning, but Yency Almonte and Evan Phillips are also expected to be involved. (6/28) ... The Giants continue to mix and match with their bullpen, though Doval has most frequently been their primary choice to close. The eighth-inning picture is much more fluid, as Leone, John Brebbia, Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee are all primary setup options. (6/28)