Closer In Waiting Power Rankings: July 10, 2017: Bradley Grabs #2 Spot & 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 (the number in parenthesis is their ranking from our last update, which came on June 26):

Current Closer
1.Sean Doolittle (2)Oakland A'sSantiago CasillaIs anyone going to argue against Doolittle being the better reliever? Injuries, or maybe the fact that he's left-handed, may be the only reason he hasn't risen into the closers role as of yet. In 20.1 IP he has 29 K vs. 2 BB showing the skill level. Casilla, meanwhile, owns a 1.33 WHIP and has already blown 4 saves (bringing him to 19 BSV since '15). It's only a matter of time before a change is made.
2.Archie Bradley (NR)Arizona DiamondbacksFernando RodneyAs expected Rodney has started to fade, including an epic blown save recently, and he's blown 2 of his past 3 save opportunities. Bradley, on the other hand, has clearly taken to a relief role and grown into a potential closer candidate. Over 41.0 IP he's posted a 1.10 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, courtesy of 47 K vs. 8 BB. With Rodney's struggles, along with a similar 2nd half implosion in '16, there's a good chance a change comes before long.
3.Trevor Rosenthal (NR)St. Louis CardinalsSeung Hwan OhIt appears like Oh has regained the closers role, though he's been hit or miss or season long and one quick cold spell will lead to yet another change. Rosenthal has also struggled, at times, though he's now thrown three straight perfect IP (5 K) and hopefully is about to find his footing. Matt Bowman may be a dark horse, but Rosenthal is the stash right now.
4.Hunter Strickland (NR)San Francisco GiantsSam DysonWith Mark Melancon on the DL the Giants have surprisingly turned to Dyson to fill the role. Thus far he's handled it well, but considering his struggles this season does anyone truly believe? Strickland has had his own issues, most importantly a 1.44 WHIP (18 BB over 31.1 IP), so don't bank on him as a lock to thrive. That said he appears to be next up and there's clearly going to be an opportunity.
5.Joaquin Benoit (5)Philadelphia PhilliesHector NerisNeris continues to have some struggles, including allowing runs in each of his past two outings. Most are going to want to put Pat Neshek as the next up, but it appears that Philadelphia favors Benoit if a change is needed.


  • Cody Allen (1) – Cleveland Indians

Dropped Off Rankings:

  • Keone Kela (3) – Texas Rangers – He had his shot at the job, but is currently on the DL and there’s no guarantee that he returns to the role
  • Arodys Vizcaino (4) – Atlanta Braves – Another currently DL’ed reliever, even when he returns unless Jim Johnson is traded he’s not going to get his shot.

Committees Not Currently Included:

  • Texas Rangers
  • Washington Nationals

Others We’re Monitoring:

  • Cam Bedrosian – Los Angeles Angels
  • Brad Hand – San Diego Padres
  • Will Harris – Houston Astros
  • Tommy Kahnle – Chicago White Sox
  • David Phelps – Miami Marlins
  • Taylor Rogers – Minnesota Twins
  • Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
  • Alex Wilson – Detroit Tigers

Injured Setup Men To Monitor:

  • Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Carter Capps – San Diego Padres
  • Arodys Vizcaino – Atlanta Braves

Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:

CatcherJune 1
First BaseJune 3
Second BaseJune 5
Third Base--
Starting Pitcher--
Relief Pitcher--

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