With Ernesto Frieri finally appearing to have the Angels’ closing job all to himself, it should not be a surprise that he was the biggest gainer this week (though Tyler Clippard also made a big jump). It also shouldn’t be surprising to see Aroldis Chapman, who is on the precipice of a complete nosedive, taking another step down. Let’s see where these guys and all the rest fall on this week’s rankings:
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves (1)
- Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers (2)
- Jonathon Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies (3)
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers (4)
- Joel Hanrahan – Pittsburgh Pirates (5)
- Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles (7)
- Chris Perez – Cleveland Indians (8)
- Tyler Clippard – Washington Nationals (13)
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds (6)
- Ernesto Frieri – Los Angeles Angels (28)
- Fernando Rodney – Tampa Bay Rays (11)
- Rafael Soriano – New York Yankees (15)
- Jonathon Broxton – Kansas City Royals (10)
- Santiago Casilla – San Francisco Giants (9)
- Rafael Betancourt – Colorado Rockies (12)
- Tom Wilhelmsen – Seattle Mariners (18)
- Jason Motte – St. Louis Cardinals (16)
- Brett Myers – Houston Astros (17)
- Ryan Cook – Oakland Athletics (19)
- Huston Street – San Diego Padres (22)
- J.J. Putz – Arizona Diamondbacks (20)
- Alfredo Aceves – Boston Red Sox (23)
- John Axford – Milwaukee Brewers (25)
- Addison Reed – Chicago White Sox (27)
- Casey Janssen – Toronto Blue Jays (29)
- Heath Bell – Miami Marlins (21)
- Jose Valverde – Detroit Tigers (24)
- Bobby Parnell – New York Mets (NR)
- Glen Perkins/Jared Burton – Minnesota Twins (NR)
- Carlos Marmol – Chicago Cubs (30)
Closers currently on the DL: Sergio Santos, Drew Storen, Kyle Farnsworth, Andrew Bailey, Frank Francisco, Matt Capps
Closers out for the year: Brian Wilson, Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, Mariano Rivera
Closers Removed Over The Past Week: N/A
- A few of the top relievers had some poor outings over this past week like Joe Nathan (1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K) and Jonathan Papelbon (2.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K over two outings). However, they have been way too good this season to drop them over one little blip on the radar. Papelbon, in particular, we’ll have to watch but he’s not going to fall from a CL1 anytime soon.
- Aroldis Chapman is a different story as his struggles have covered most of June (0-4. 3 blown saves, 7.71 ERA). Obviously we all knew there would be a crack in his armor, but this is getting to be a bit much. With the Reds battling for the division title, it may only take one more poor outing to see a change. Sean Marshall owners need to be salivating.
- With the word coming out that Tyler Clippard would keep the closers job, even when Drew Storen returns (according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times), he needs to be bumped up the rankings significantly. That said, I would still be hesitant to assume Clippard holds the job all year long. He’s benefited from a .200 BABIP thanks to an unsustainable 7.2% line drive rate. Once the numbers regress and Storen is healthy, I would expect a change. That may make now a good time to sell.
- Rafael Soriano has been pitching lights out of late. In his last six outings he has a 0.00 ERA, 6 SV, 5 H and 0 BB. The job is all his at this point and he has to be considered a good play.
- Ryan Cook was due for a poor outing, so let’s not read too much into his blowup this past week. He bounced back strong on Monday and is locked in as the A’s closer. At this point there is nothing to be concerned about.
- J.J. Putz started his redemption process this week… Well, at least kind of. He posted two scoreless outings but, to no fault of his own, he failed to record a save (his last save came on June 10). Opportunity has to go into the ranking and, if he’s not going to save games, it’s hard to push him back up. He should get there, but just keep that in mind.
- Just when you think it’s safe to trust Heath Bell again he gets shellacked for 4 ER in an inning of work. And so we start again…
- Until either Glen Perkins or Jared Burton claim the job as their own (they each have two saves recently), we will have to keep them suppressed on the rankings. However, either one individually would be ranked around #20 most likely.
- The biggest gainer of the week is Ernesto Frieri, who finally appears to have the Angels’ closer role all to himself. I would be cautious that a blowup is probably looming, but we can’t suppress his ranking due to that. He’s emerged as one of the elite in the game, at least for now.