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:
|1.||Cody Allen (NR)||Cleveland Indians||Andrew Miller||It seems odd that a change has been made, but according to Paul Hoynes (via Twitter):
"Tito said he's switching Allen-Miller bec Miller has thrown a lot high-stress inns. Trying to even workload. Unsure how long it will last."
For now it appears that Miller is going to get some run, but Allen should return to the role at some point.
|2.||Joaquin Benoit (NR)||Philadelphia Phillies||Hector Neris||You can argue that Pat Neshek should be the next up, but it appears Philadelphia prefers Benoit as the next up (he's been working the eighth with Neshek in the seventh). Regardless Neris continues to struggle closing out games, with a blown save on Sunday and allowing runs in three of his past six appearances (not to mention an uninspiring 1.36 WHIP overall). It appears like a change is coming, it's just a matter of when.|
|3.||Cam Bedrosian (NR)||Los Angeles Angels||Bud Norris||It was always expected that Norris' time in the closers role would only last until the rest of the bullpen got healthy. Of course he has run with the role and should be safe, at least for now. With Bedrosian back, and being the owner of a significantly higher upside, it may not take much for the two to swap roles.|
|4.||Archie Bradley (5)||Arizona Diamondbacks||Fernando Rodney||Rodney has been on a tremendous roll, though does anyone really expect it to continue? We watched him implode a year ago, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him go through a similar stretch. When that happens Bradley should finally get his chance, as he's been transitioned to a typical reliever role, working 1 inning at a time and multiple days in a role. Now that he's shown he can thrive in the role (1.13 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 40 K), it's only a matter of time before he gets a shot at closing out games.|
|5.||Arodys Vizcaino (4)||Atlanta Braves||Jim Johnson||Johnson has been good overall, but inconsistent at times with the occasional blowup (4 BSV),. Granted he does own 33 K vs. 7 BB on the season, so it's hard to knock him, but whether it's due to struggles or a trade there's a good chance Vizcaino gets an opportunity. As it is he's been just as good, if not better, with a 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 33 K and 9 BB on the season. He's closed before and he will again.|
- Sean Doolittle – Oakland A’s (2) – You can argue that he’s only currently closing due to Santiago Casilla being banged up, but there’s a good chance that Doolittle never relinquishes the role.
Dropped Off Rankings:
- Pat Neshek – Philadelphia Phillies (1) – It appears that he’s behind Joaquin Benoit on the depth chart, for whatever reason.
- Keone Kela – Texas Rangers (3)
Committees Not Currently Included:
- Washington Nationals
Others We’re Monitoring:
- Brad Hand – San Diego Padres
- Will Harris – Houston Astros
- Tommy Kahnle – Chicago White Sox
- David Phelps – Miami Marlins
- Taylor Rogers – Minnesota Twins
- Trevor Rosenthal – St. Louis Cardinals
- Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
- Arodys Vizcaino – Atlanta Braves
- Alex Wilson – Detroit Tigers
Injured Setup Men To Monitor:
- Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Carter Capps – San Diego Padres
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|