Closer Rankings (June 6, 2012): Kenley Jansen Joins Top 5, Huston Street Returns & More

We all knew it was just a matter of time before Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen both rose into the Top 5 of our closer rankings.  That time has finally come.  Let’s take a look at exactly where they fall, as well as everyone else in this week’s rankings:

  1. Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves (1)
  2. Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds (3)
  3. Jonathon Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies (2)
  4. Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers (4)
  5. Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers (8)
  6. Joel Hanrahan – Pittsburgh Pirates (6)
  7. John Axford – Milwaukee Brewers (7)
  8. Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles (5)
  9. Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians (10)
  10. Santiago Casilla – San Francisco Giants (9)
  11. Rafael Betancourt – Colorado Rockies (11)
  12. Fernando Rodney – Tampa Bay Rays (12)
  13. Jonathon Broxton – Kansas City Royals (15)
  14. Frank Francisco – New York Mets (16)
  15. Brett Myers – Houston Astros (14)
  16. Jason Motte – St. Louis Cardinals (13)
  17. Rafael Soriano – New York Yankees (19)
  18. Tyler Clippard – Washington Nationals (23)
  19. Jose Valverde – Detroit Tigers (17)
  20. J.J. Putz – Arizona Diamondbacks (18)
  21. Huston Street – San Diego Padres (NR)
  22. Alfredo Aceves – Boston Red Sox (27)
  23. Heath Bell – Miami Marlins (21)
  24. Matt Capps – Minnesota Twins (22)
  25. Addison Reed – Chicago White Sox (20)
  26. Scott Downs/Ernesto Frieri – Los Angeles Angels (24)
  27. Tom Wilhelmsen – Seattle Mariners (26)
  28. Casey Janssen – Toronto Blue Jays (28)
  29. James Russell – Chicago Cubs (29)
  30. Brian Fuentes – Oakland Athletics (30)

Closers currently on the DL: Sergio Santos, Drew Stanton, Kyle Farnsworth
Closers out for the year: Brian Wilson, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, Mariano Rivera
Closers Removed Over The Past Week:

Thoughts:

  • With Huston Street coming off the DL Dale Thayer’s time as the Padres closer has come to an end.  However, he made the most of it and, if Street were to get injured or struggle, don’t think the Padres would hesitate to go back to him.  While his value has currently diminished, don’t rule him out for the rest of the season.
  • It was only a matter of time before Kenley Jansen made the rise to the Top 5 of these rankings.  It has nothing to do with how the other pitchers have performed, he just offers way too much strikeout stuff (41 K in 26.2 IP) and has been completely lights out of late.  In his last six appearances prior to last night he’s allowed 0 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, in 6.0 innings of work.  He has fully arrived as an ace closer.
  • Jason Motte hit a little bit of a rough patch, allowing 4 ER in 3.0 innings in back-to-back outings.  However, he has come back strong with 2.1 shutout innings against the Mets.  He falls slightly, but still has to be considered one of the better options with tremendous upside.
  • We all wish Matt Capps would strikeout a few more batters, but it is hard to argue with his results.  He has recorded a save in four straight appearances, allowing just 4 base runners in the process.  While his value is capped, he is a great option as a low-end CL2/CL3.
  • If it was Scott Downs or Ernesto Frieri working as the Angels closer, they would be among the better options as a CL2.  However, they are clearly sharing the job, hurting both players’ values.  Until one wins the job, they have to be considered a low-end option.
  • Jim Johnson had possibly the first crack in his armor last night, blowing a save.  It may seem like a rash decision to drop him based on one performance, but it isn’t impossible to see a flood of poor outings given his luck metrics.  Proceed with caution.

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