Closer In Waiting Power Rankings: May 18, 2017: Hand/O’Day Assume Top Spots & 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 despite not currently “holding” the job outright.

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

Current Closer
1.Brad Hand (4)San Diego PadresBrandon MaurerMaurer has now imploded in 3 of his past 4 outings, blowing two saves in epic fashion and losing another game (9 ER on 11 H and 1 BB over his past 2.2 IP). While everyone has been waiting on Carter Capps, it's going to be impossible for the Padres to wait for his return. While Hand has had his own struggles of late, overall he owns a 1.88 ERA & 0.96 WHIP and should get an opportunity to run with the role.
2.Darren O'Day (NR)Baltimore OriolesBrad BrachAfter missing some time due to an undisclosed injury, O'Day recently returned to the mound and should be next up for save chances. With Brach struggling of late (back-to-back blown saves, runs allowed in 4 of 5 outings), that opportunity could come sooner rather than later.
3.Felipe Rivero (2)Pittsburgh PiratesTony WatsonWatson has converted 8 of 9 saves, but that doesn't mean he's been very good. With a 1.56 WHIP he's been pitching into and out of trouble (19 H & 7 BB over 16.2 IP) and it's only a matter of time before he falls off the tight rope. Rivero, meanwhile, has been dominant with a 0.83 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, as he's posted 22 K vs. 4 BB on the season.
4.Archie Bradley (3)Arizona DiamondbacksFernando RodneyRodney is among the worst closers in the league, and Arizona's decision to keep Bradley in the bullpen puts him on the precipice of the role. He's certainly outpitched Rodney and while his lack of usage in May has caused some concern it shouldn't. It's a matter of when he gets his shot, not if.
5.Ryan Madson (5)Oakland A'sSantiago CasillaWe all know that Casilla is a disaster in waiting, and his most recent implosion highlights that. With Sean Doolittle on the DL, it should be Madson who ultimately gets the opportunity to unseat the current closer.


  • None

Dropped Off Rankings:

  • Mychael Givens – Baltimore Orioles (1) – With Darren O’Day seemingly healthy and Givens struggling with his control in his most recent outing, he Givens no longer appears to be in position for SV

Others We’re Monitoring:

  • Kyle Barraclough – Miami Marlins
  • Will Harris – Houston Astros
  • Tommy Kahnle – Chicago White Sox
  • Trevor Rosenthal – St. Louis Cardinals
  • Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
  • Drew Storen – Cincinnati Reds
  • Hunter Strickland – San Francisco Giants
  • Arodys Vizcaino – Atlanta Braves

Injured Setup Men To Monitor:

  • Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Carter Capps – San Diego Padres
  • Sean Doolittle – Oakland A’s

Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:

Top 50 Prospects1-50
First Base1-10
Second Base1-10
Third Base1-10
Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20
Left Handed Pitchers:1-10


  1. Bennie's Express says:

    Hey prof,

    I’m pretty solid for saves but I have Norris as one of my closers. Would you suggest picking up Hand as a long term option for when Bedrosian returns and possibly unseats Norris? This wouldn’t be a move based on need, but more of an insurance type deal for in case Norris loses the role in the coming weeks, and also to kind of block the teams who need a closer from getting Hand, and it doesn’t hurt that Hand looks pretty solid this year. Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

    • Bennie's Express says:

      Also want to add I would not be dropping Norris for Hand, I would drop Clevinger since he is probably going to lose his spot once Kluber returns anyway.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Yea, if you have the spot any way I would definitely grab Hand (I just did in one league). If it gives you more depth to work/trade from, all the better

  2. Ferg says:

    Hand and O’Day available in my 12 team H2H league. Either worth picking up and dropping Biagini, Eickhoff or JC Ramirez? Currently have Oh, Johnson and Bush as closers.

  3. Mike says:

    Would you drop Feliz or Law for Rivero? The other 4 players listed are already rostered in my league.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Law would be the first drop, and yes I would. Both are droppable though, the way Knebel is going they won’t be able to pull him from role.

  4. Alfonso Ferreira says:

    Professor I have done the worst thing in dropping Knebler for Kelley, Zych/Diaz, and D Law, which of these would you drop for Hand??

    • Al says:

      Ok, saw that Mark Melancon from DL so Law is gone. Would you drop Zych/Diaz, or Kelley for Rivera? Thanks for your input again!

      • Rotoprofessor says:

        Definitely do not drop Diaz. Kelley is a hold at this point as well. The Seattle situation is a mess, and there’s no guarantee that it’s Zych anyways. I could see dropping him for Rivero

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