Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated April 24)
The chart below breaks down all 30 major-league teams' bullpens in terms of relievers' proximity to the closer role, not their overall fantasy value. Teams are broken down by division.
"CLOSER" is either that team's officially designated closer, or the pitcher most likely to get the team's next save chance. "NEXT IN LINE" is the pitcher next-most likely to take over if something happens to the closer, or the one who might get any save chances on the closer's nights off. "NOTES" beneath each division's chart provide detail on teams' closer situations that might have an unusual wrinkle, like an injury to the typical closer requiring a short term fill-in, or a committee situation.
NOTES: As manager Brandon Hyde had hinted during the preseason, the Orioles are going with a closer-by-committee approach. Givens still seems like the most logical choice most nights, but Fry, Evan Phillips, Jimmy Yacabonis and Miguel Castro have all been used in late-and-close situations and could factor into the mix in any game. ... Ryan Brasier has six of the Red Sox's seven saves and seven of the team's 10 ninth-inning save opportunities (through April 21), giving him the clear look of the primary closer ahead of Barnes. ... Emilio Pagan recorded saves on consecutive days April 22-23, while neither Alvarado nor Castillo pitched in either game. That casts some doubt on the pecking order for Rays saves, though it's still likely that the team's preferred order goes Alvarado, Castillo, Pagan.
NOTES: Through the season's first three weeks, Herrera and Nate Jones have been serving as White Sox closer Colome's primary setup men. ... Royals manager Ned Yost said on March 30 that he likes both Peralta and Kennedy as ninth-inning options, and Brad Boxberger has past closer experience and a save this season as well. The team is utilizing a closer-by-committee approach for now, so any of the three could get opportunities. ... The Twins have given ninth-inning save chances to Parker (4), Rogers (3) and Trevor Hildenberger (1) already this season (through April 21), with each of those pitchers successfully converting every opportunity, as good a hint as any that manager Rocco Baldelli views his closer situation as a committee. Trevor May also has a chance of getting into the mix this year.
NOTES: Angels manager Brad Ausmas declared April 24 that Cody Allen had been removed from the closer role, and that a committee including Buttrey, Robles, Justin Anderson, Cam Bedrosian and Luis Garcia would replace him. ... Swarzak and Elias have been sharing the Mariners' closer duties recently, with Elias notching saves on April 18 and 19 and Swarzak on April 20. ... Leclerc has been scored upon in four of his past six appearances and has walked six of the past 27 hitters he has faces (through April 21), casting some doubt upon his hold on the Rangers' closer role. Kelley has been the team's most effective reliever to date and he relieved Leclerc to save the team's April 21 victory, so he might soon move into the role if Leclerc doesn't improve.
NOTES: The Braves announced on April 17 that Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder, IL) will undergo season-ending surgery, leaving Minter as their full-time closer for the foreseeable future. Biddle, Luke Jackson and Wes Parsons will likely serve as the primary setup men initially, though Chad Sobotka could work his way into the mix soon. The team could always investigate signing free agent Craig Kimbrel as well. ... Marlins manager Don Mattingly is going with a closer-by-committee, with Romo, Conley and Drew Steckenrider his three most likely options on any given night. Tayron Guerrero is a deep sleeper to move into the mix in-season. ... Mets manager Mickey Callaway said April 15 that he won't use Diaz for more than three outs in any appearance this season. ... Phillies manager Gabe Kapler loves to mix and match, and with David Robertson (elbow, IL) sidelined, he has had to get creative recently. Neris, Neshek and Jose Alvarez already have saves for the team this season, and Adam Morgan, Seranthony Dominguez and Juan Nicasio all could factor into the late-inning picture if matchups call.
NOTES: Strop is serving as the Cubs' primary closer while Brandon Morrow recovers from a debridement procedure on his right elbow in November. Morrow was shut down from throwing during the April 20-21 weekend, so Strop could hold the job for a while. ... Reds manager David Bell plans to use Iglesias in lengthier outings, which doesn't sound much different from the team's 2018 strategy, but that could mean Hughes, David Hernandez or Michael Lorenzen gets an occasional save. ... While Josh Hader has been serving as the Brewers' primary closer thus far, Jeremy Jeffress (shoulder) was activated from the IL on April 16 and might soon move into a co-closership with Hader. Since Hader often pitches mutliple innings during his appearances, Jeffress should see the occasional save chance regardless. ... The Cardinals have decided to work Alex Reyes back into a starting role and Carlos Martinez (shoulder, IL) back into a short-relief role. The latter isn't expected to factor into the late-inning mix initially, but his performance will bear watching once he's activated.
NOTES: Bryan Shaw's hot start to the season could push him into primary setup duty for the Rockies in the coming weeks.