Closer Rankings: Uehara pushes toward top, Doolittle makes big jump

Thursday June 26th, 2014

Craig Kimbrel has been the mark against which other closers have been measured this season, and Koji Uehara is giving the Braves' thrower a run for his money. In 12 appearances for the Red Sox in June, Uehara has gone 2-0 with five saves in six opportunities, a 2.08 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and 12 K's in 13 innings. While he's has fewer chances to rack up saves in Boston (17 to Kimbrel's 26), Uehara's numbers compare favorably to our top closer.

Also on the rise is Oakland's Sean Doolittle, who has been a mark of consistency over the past two months, not giving up a run since imploding in Houston on April 26. Since then, he's tossed 23 unblemished appearances, notching 40 strikeouts compared to just five hits and a single walk. In that stretch, he's lowered his ERA from 6.17 to 1.95 and his WHIP 0.63 points to just 0.57 on the season. 

Sergio Romo's rough time in San Francisco has seen him drop seven spots to 17th, giving Jean Machi, up 14 spots to 36th, some relevancy if he can start to steal opportunities from the incumbent reliever. 

Fantasy baseball Closer Rankings
  • 1
    1Craig Kimbrel
    Atlanta Braves

  • 2
    2Koji Uehara
    Boston Red Sox
    Uehara's ERA is 1.26, his WHIP is 0.76, and he has 45 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. Splitting hairs between Uehara and Kimbrel.

  • 3
    3Aroldis Chapman
    Cincinnati Reds

  • 4

    4Greg Holland
    Kansas City Royals
    Holland's ERA is 1.88, his WHIP is 1.12 and he has 42 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. It's clear there's a dip after the top four closers.

  • 5

    5Kenley Jansen
    Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 6
    6Sean Doolittle
    Oakland Athletics
    The last time Doolittle allowed an earned run, the NBA and NHL playoffs were still in the first round.

  • 7
    7Huston Street
    San Diego Padres

  • 8
    8Glen Perkins
    Minnesota Twins
    Perkins has allowed three earned runs in his last two appearances, though he surrendered just one run in his 11 previous times out.

  • 9
    9Joakim Soria
    Texas Rangers

  • 10
    10Steve Cishek
    Miami Marlins

  • 11
    11Francisco Rodriguez
    Milwaukee Brewers
    Rodriguez has slowed down a bit from his ridiculous April, but he remains in firm control of the Brewers' ninth-inning duties.

  • 12
    12Rafael Soriano
    Washington Nationals

  • 13
    13David Robertson
    New York Yankees

  • 14
    14Casey Janssen
    Toronto Blue Jays

  • 15
    15Trevor Rosenthal
    St. Louis Cardinals
    Rosenthal is still walking a ton of batters (20 in 36 innings), but so long as he keeps notching saves and missing bats, he's pleasing his fantasy owners.

  • 16
    16Fernando Rodney
    Seattle Mariners
    Rodney has discovered the control fairly recently, issuing just two free passes in his last 11 appearances.

  • 17
    17Sergio Romo
    San Francisco Giants
    Romo has put up two scoreless innings after allowing seven runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Rockies.

  • 18
    18Jonathan Papelbon
    Philadelphia Phillies

  • 19
    19Zach Britton
    Baltimore Orioles
    The strikeouts aren't coming, but Britton has a 1.64 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 38 1/3 innings. It's OK to believe.

  • 20
    20Addison Reed
    Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 21
    21Chad Qualls
    Houston Astros
    Qualls remains a prime trade candidate, which would likely rob him of most his fantasy value. Now would be a good time to try to sell him.

  • 22
    22Hector Rondon
    Chicago Cubs
    Rondon has allowed one hit and one walk with five strikeouts in two innings since coming back from elbow soreness.

  • 23
    23Cody Allen
    Cleveland Indians

  • 24
    24LaTroy Hawkins
    Colorado Rockies

  • 25
    25Joe Nathan
    Detroit Tigers

  • 26
    26Ernesto Frieri
    Los Angeles Angels

  • 27
    27Jenrry Mejia
    New York Mets
    Mejia has been up and down since moving into the closer's role, but he seems to have a solid grip on the job for now.

  • 28
    28Ronald Belisario
    Chicago White Sox
    He's still the closer, but Belisario has Daniel Webb looming over his shoulder.

  • 29
    29Jake McGee
    Tampa Bay Rays
    McGee has been the best pitcher in the Rays' bullpen, and that makes him the favorite in this mess of a ninth-inning situation.

  • 30
    30Juan Carlos Oviedo
    Tampa Bay Rays
    Oviedo picked up his first save of the season a week ago, though he allowed a solo homer. He has the most experience as a closer among the members of Tampa Bay's committee.

  • 31

    31Joel Peralta
    Tampa Bay Rays

  • 32

    32Brad Ziegler
    Arizona Diamondbacks
    Ziegler has been mostly good this year, but the only reason he ranks this high is because of Addison Reed's struggles. Kirk Gibson does not yet seem willing to make a change.

  • 33

    33Mark Melancon
    Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 34

    34Joaquin Benoit
    San Diego Padres

  • 35

    35Daniel Webb
    Chicago White Sox

  • 36

    36Jean Machi
    San Francisco
    With Sergio Romo's recent struggles, Machi could be in line to pick up some saves in the not-too-distant future. He has a 0.29 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings this year.

  • 37

    37Joba Chamberlain
    Detroit Tigers

  • 38

    38Drew Storen
    Washington Nationals

  • 39
    39Joe Smith
    Los Angeles Angels

  • 40

    40Darren O'Day
    Baltimore Orioles

  • 41

    41Wade Davis
    Kansas City Royals

  • 42

    42Danny Farquhar
    Seattle Mariners

  • 43

    43Bryan Shaw
    Cleveland Indians

  • 44

    44Junichi Tazawa
    Boston Red Sox

  • 45

    45John Axford
    Cleveland Indians

  • 46

    46Tyler Clippard
    Washington Nationals

  • 47

    47Neil Ramirez
    Chicago Cubs

  • 48

    48Grant Balfour
    Tampa Bay Rays

  • 49

    49Adam Ottavino
    Colorado Rockies

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.