While John Axford continues to tumble down these rankings there are two recently installed closers who are making major names for themselves out West. The Mariners’ Tom Wilhemsen and the A’s Ryan Cook are both pitching lights out and are quickly entrenching themselves as solid options in all formats. Where do their recent performances put them on the rankings? Let’s take a look:
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves (1)
- Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers (2)
- Jonathon Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies (3)
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers (5)
- Joel Hanrahan – Pittsburgh Pirates (6)
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds (4)
- Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles (7)
- Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians (8)
- Santiago Casilla – San Francisco Giants (9)
- Jonathon Broxton – Kansas City Royals (13)
- Fernando Rodney – Tampa Bay Rays (12)
- Rafael Betancourt – Colorado Rockies (10)
- Tyler Clippard – Washington Nationals (16)
- Frank Francisco – New York Mets (14)
- Rafael Soriano – New York Yankees (19)
- Jason Motte – St. Louis Cardinals (18)
- Brett Myers – Houston Astros (15)
- Tom Wilhelmsen – Seattle Mariners (24)
- Ryan Cook – Oakland Athletics (30)
- J.J. Putz – Arizona Diamondbacks (20)
- Heath Bell – Miami Marlins (21)
- Huston Street – San Diego Padres (23)
- Alfredo Aceves – Boston Red Sox (25)
- Jose Valverde – Detroit Tigers (17)
- John Axford – Milwaukee Brewers (11)
- Matt Capps – Minnesota Twins (22)
- Addison Reed – Chicago White Sox (26)
- Scott Downs/Ernesto Frieri – Los Angeles Angels (27)
- Casey Janssen – Toronto Blue Jays (28)
- Carlos Marmol – Chicago Cubs (NR)
Closers currently on the DL: Sergio Santos, Drew Storen, Kyle Farnsworth
Closers out for the year: Brian Wilson, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, Mariano Rivera
Closers Removed Over The Past Week: James Russell
- It was definitely nice to see Aroldis Chapman get things back on track (though he got beat yesterday by Asdrubal Cabrera), throwing back-to-back scoreless innings against the Mets. He was bound to hit a cold stretch sooner or later, but don’t read too much into it. He’s a top option at this point (thanks to the strikeout rate) regardless of any minor bumps in the road. If this stretch lasts much longer, however, he is going to see his ranking start to drop quickly.
- The only reason Tyler Clippard is not ranked any higher on this list is because he is likely going to lose his job once Drew Storen returns (which could come around the All Star Break). That said, it’s impossible to ignore how dominant he’s been this season with a 2.15 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He would be a Top 10 option if he had job security, so simply enjoy him while you can.
- I know Brett Myers meltdown (5 ER on 8 H over 0.2 IP) came in a non-save situation, but it’s impossible not to take it into consideration when it comes to his ranking. He needs to drop a few spots.
- Just how long can the Brewers really stick with John Axford? In three outings from 6/10-6/14 he allowed 7 ER on 5 H and 5 BB over just 2.0 IP (after two good outings he was beat up again yesterday, allowing back-to-back home runs to blow his fourth save). He has been an utter disaster this season with a 5.60 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 17 BB in 27.1 IP. He is obviously plummeting down these rankings and is going to need to string together quite a few strong outings to recover.
- Matt Capps is a little banged up and has been unavailable for a few days, but the talk right now is that it isn’t serious. That said we’ll obviously have to monitor the situation just in case.
- Ryan Cook has claimed the A’s closing job and, while I have my concerns (which you can view by clicking here), he obviously is a good option in all formats. He picked up his fourth save of the season last night.
- According to Jason Beck (click here for the post), “Valverde said the wrist is sore, not a sharp pain. He hurt it while warming up in the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. He felt it immediately, tried to throw another pitch after that and couldn’t.” Phil Coke picked up the save in his place last night, though that was partially because Joaquin Benoit had pitched the eighth. You have to think that Benoit will get the chance to replace Valverde if he’s forced out for an extended period, though if you are desperate for saves Coke is worth stashing.
- If there was talk about the Mariners going back to Brandon League it appears safe to forget it. Tom Wilhelmsen struck out the side last night in a perfect inning to lockdown his fifth save. In 10.2 June innings he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.47 WHIP and 14 K. He is pitching lights out and should be safe for now.