Closer In Waiting Power Rankings: April 14, 2017: Soria & Barraclough Debut On Rankings & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Are you someone constantly on the lookout for the next potential closer? That’s what we are trying to pinpoint here, with our Top 5 Closer In Waiting Power Rankings. These rankings look at the pitchers who appear capable of taking over their team’s respective closing duties (though in some cases, will need some help to get there). Keep in mind, if a pitcher is currently part of a committee they will not be included in these rankings (i.e. the Oakland A’s and Cincinnati Reds situations) despite not currently “holding” the job outright.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how things stand:

Current Closer
1.Arodys Vizcaino (2)Atlanta BravesJim JohnsonJohnson blew his first save & we all know that he's not the future for Atlanta. One or two more poor outings could lead to Vizcaino, who has done the job before, being given another opportunity.
2.Koda Glover (3)Washington NationalsBlake TreinenTreinen has shown cracks but that came working three consecutive days., while Shawn Kelley has struggled since Opening Day (though he appeared to be getting ready for a save opportunity earlier in the week). Glover had a recent shaky outing, but change will come at some point.
3.Joakim Soria (NR)Kansas City RoyalsKelvin HerreraHerrera has the upside to be one of the elite, but could he be a pitcher simply more comfortable in a setup role? He's allowed HR in back-to-back outings and it's possible the team flips the roles of their two prominent relievers.
4.Matt Bush (1)Texas RangersSam DysonDyson has taken the Shawn Tolleson route & the only thing that may be saving his job is the mess around him. Had it not been for a shoulder issue (which is what has caused him to drop down the rankings) Bush likely would already be in the role, so now we sit, wait and see if he avoids the DL. In the interim it's possible Tony Barnette (not Jeremy Jeffress) gets the opportunity if Dyson has already run out of chances.
5.Kyle Barraclough (NR)Miami MarlinsA.J. RamosThe Marlins always seem to be looking to replace Ramos and while the bullpen is deep, Barraclough appears primed to grab the role. He's shown improved control in '17, which was the biggest question, as he clearly has closer stuff.

Dropped Off Rankings:

  • Brad Hand (4) – San Diego Padres – He could be in line for saves, but it’s a deep bullpen that can go many different directions
  • Justin Wilson (5) – Detroit Tigers – Barring a trade/injury a change is a long-shot, for now, but he’s a name to keep on radars

Others We’re Monitoring:

  • Hector Neris – Philadelphia Phillies
  • Corey Knebel – Milwaukee Brewers
  • J.J. Hoover – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Trevor Rosenthal – St. Louis Cardinals

Injured Setup Men To Monitor:

  • Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Carter Capps – San Diego Padres


  1. Katman says:

    Barraclough is not the closer in waiting in Miami. It’s Ziegler.

  2. Bill says:

    Do you see any chance that Addison Reed keeps the Mets closer job? If not, do you expect Mets to work Familia in gradually, or simply anoint him closer ASAP?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      There is no chance of Reed keeping the job once Familia is back. Maybe it’s a “slow” transition, but it won’t take more than a week (and it’s very possible Familia is just thrown right into the fire)

  3. Tim Cripe says:

    I wonder if Luke Gregerson ought to be monitored closely…

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Yea, he’s on the watch list but Giles isn’t in any risk of losing his job at this point (though we have mentioned Gregerson before)

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