Spring Training games have yet to begin, but there is already movement in the closer rankings. Some high-end closers with shutdown skills have already been befallen by injury, while other bullpens are still in flux.
The Three Wicked Men
1. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
2. Greg Holland, KC
3. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
All Relievers are not created equally and you get what you pay for.
Next Generation Closers
4. Cody Allen, CLE
5. Dellin Betances, NYY
Betances is receiving all the love and deservedly so coming off of last year, but don’t sleep on Cody.
6. Mark Melancon, PIT
2 Season in Pittsburgh: 144 G 142.0 IP 141 K 1.65 ERA 0.92 WHIP & 49 SV
7. David Robertson, CHW
(AVG) Last 5 seasons in NY [201-2014]: 64 IP 85 K 2.53 ERA 1.17 WHIP & 11.95 K/9
Talented but Troubled
8. Trevor Rosenthal, STL
Rosenthal was wildly ineffective at times but offers high end upside
9. Koji Uehara, BOS
Koji was his dominate self until late-season fatigue or injury
10.Kenley Jansen, LAD *(DL)
Kenley is among the elite when healthy.
11. Huston Street, LAA
12. Joaquin Benoit, SD
Oldies but goodies sums up this duo, but health risk is a factor with these aging arms.
The Three Amigos
13. Steve Chisek, MIA
Surface stats will mask the peripherally positive season that Cishek posted in 2014.
14. Hector Rondon, CHC
The sophisticated consumer will own the Cubs closer in 2015.
15. Glen Perkins, MIN
Consistently solid but was shutdown last year with forearm strain & nerve irritation.
16. Jonathan Papelbon, PHI
Where will Papelbon be pitching in 2015?
17. Fernando Rodney, SEA
The Magic man but Rodney’s rope will be shortened with the Mariners revival in the great northwest.
18. Zach Britton, BAL
Can Zach Britton aka the ground ball wizard repeat his 2004 success?
Time to Shine?
19. Brad Boxberger, TB
Their are others in mix for the Rays closer role with McGee on the mend but regardless of his role this relief pitcher is an asset to any team.
20. Tyler Clippard, OAK
Part-time closer? Or will he be the man all season in Oakland?
21. Drew Storen, WAS
It’s now or never.
22. Addison Reed, ARI
Good but unlucky? Reed was destroyed by the long ball last season and is currently dealing with shoulder soreness. Last reports say he should return to Cactus league action shortly and is on track for Opening Day.
23. Francisco Rodriguez, MIL
KROD was brilliant PRE ASB but very bad POST ASB and yielding 14 HR is not something you want from your closer.
24. Neftali Feliz, TEX
Is Neftali reemerging in Texas? Can he regain his previous velocity or is this the new version?
25. Jenry Mejia, NYM
Talented arm but is he the 2015 and future closer for the Mets?
26. Joe Nathan, DET
Dead man walking?
27. Santiago Casilla, SF
Lead dog in San Francisco but Bochy is master of the matchup.
28. Luke Gregerson, HOU
A very successful career as middle reliever and setup man but failed in the closer role last year with Oakland.
29. Brett Cecil, TOR
The Closer in Toronto?
30. Latroy Hawkins, COL
A closer in name only.
Wade Davis, KC
72 IP 109 K 1.00 ERA 399 ERA+ 0.85 WHIP 0 HR 5 XBH ALLOWED
Danny Farquhar: SEA
The Usurper in Seattle?
Ken Giles, PHI
Beast Mode. The 2015 version of Dellin Betances?
Andrew Miller, NYY
A weapon out of the bullpen in 2014 and with or without Saves is still a must own.
These Relievers should be owned regardless of their role but if or when they are anointed the ninth gig they’ll be moving up the board.
Sean Doolittle, OAK
Jake McGee, TB
Both emerged as high-end options in 2014 but high hopes for the upcoming season have been halted until further clarifications arise.
Cloudy with a Chance of Closing
Jonathan Broxton: MIL
Closer in waiting?
Kevin Jepsen: TB
Dark horse candidate in Tampa Bay.
Evan Marshall: ARI
The arm to own in the desert if Reed’s a no go?
Adam Ottavino: COL
The Relief Pitcher to own in Colorado.
Bobby Parnell, NYM
When is Parnell returning and how effective can he be?
Kevin Quackenbush: SD
Did it last year while Benoit was shelved, opportunity is all that is needed.
Chad Qualls, HOU
Everyone assumes it’s Gregerson’s job?
Sergio Romo, SF
A Romo revival in 2015?
Aaron Sanchez, TOR
Destined for the rotation with Stroman out for the year?
Joakim Soria, DET
The Tigers pitcher with the most saves in 2015?
Spring Training battles will decide some team roles and all eyes will be fixated on where the dominos will fall in this frenzied market.