Closer Rankings: Chapman back and hurling fire, Shaw replaces Axford
The closer position is constantly changing, so we'll keep you up to date with who's in and who's not with our rankings below. This week, Aroldis Chapman leaps up to the No. 2 spot, returning to the game nearly two months after taking a line drive off the face. He picked up his first save of the season, striking out the side against Colorado on May 11. He gave up a home run to Padres' Chase Headley in his following outing, but don't let that take away from the fact that he's hurling 99 mph fastballs on a regular basis.
Rankings and information to date as of May 16. An asterisk next to a player's name indicates additional notes below.
Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings
|Rankings updated as of May 16|
2. Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds -- Chapman has been back for a week and already has the most pitches of at least 99 mph this season.
7. Rafael Soriano, Washington Nationals -- Soriano gave up his first runs of the season while blowing a save against the A's on May 10.
11. Huston Street, San Diego Padres -- It's hard to envision that Street will be in a San Diego uniform after the July 31 trade deadline, and that could be a risk for his current fantasy owners. It might not be a bad time to see what sort of price he can fetch on the market.
13. Joakim Soria, Texas Rangers -- Soria's FIP is 0.81, he has allowed eight baserunners in 14 innings, and he has 19 strikeouts against two walks. What a shrewd signing by Jon Daniels last year.
16. Casey Janssen, Toronto Blue Jays -- Janssen has allowed one hit and one walk in his three innings since coming off the DL. He has converted both of his save opportunities, as well.
17. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals -- Rosenthal has not been the lockdown closer the Cardinals envisioned after he dominated out of the bullpen last year, posting a 4.74 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 19 innings.
21. Matt Lindstrom, Chicago White Sox -- After a shaky start to the season, Lindstrom has corrected course and taken a firm grip of the ninth-inning duties for the White Sox. He has surrenderred two runs in his last seven innings, and those came with the White Sox trailing by nine runs.
23. Addison Reed, Arizona Diamondbacks -- Reed recently received a vote of confidence from Kirk Gibson, but he still could be in danger of losing his job. He has a 5.03 ERA and 5.49 FIP in 19 2/3 innings.
26. Bryan Shaw, Cleveland Indians -- Shaw got the first save for the Indians A.A. (After Axford), so consider him the favorite in the bullpen for now.
28. Jenrry Mejia, New York Mets -- Terry Collins said the Mets will go with a committee approach for the time being, but there's no doubt that Mejia has shutdown-closer stuff. He could really take this job and run with it.
29. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles -- Britton picked up the save for the Orioles on May 15, the first pitcher other than the struggling Tommy Hunter to notch a save for Baltimore this season. If Hunter is indeed on the outs, Britton would be the favorite to hold down the job.
30. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets -- Familia should factor into the Mets' closer committee, but he's running second to Jenrry Mejia for now.
31. Chad Qualls, Houston Astros -- Qualls has a save and a win in his last two outings, and he earned that win after pitching the top of the ninth in a tie game, typically a spot for the closer. He looks to be the man in Houston for now, which doesn't actually say a whole lot.
32. Brad Ziegler, Arizona Diamondbacks -- Ziegler has been the most effective reliever in Arizona's bullpen, putting up a 2.53 ERA, 2.91 FIP and 1.03 WHIP in 21 1/3 innings. If Kirk Gibson decides to demote Addison Reed, Ziegler would likely ascend to the closer's chair.
33. Jesse Crain, Houston Astros -- Crain is still expected back sometime in late May or early June. He'll likely get right into the closing mix in Houston when he's off the DL.
36. Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates -- Grilli threw a two-inning simulated game on May 14, and will shortly head out on a rehab assignment before joining the Pirates. The team could, however, ease him back into the closer's role, espeically with Mark Melancon pitching so well.