Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated September 17)
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: Aroldis Chapman (DL: knee) seems on the verge of rejoining the Yankees as the week of Sept. 17 dawns, though it is unclear whether he'd immediately reclaim his closer's job or be worked into it more slowly in middle relief. David Robertson and Dellin Betances have been co-closing in Chapman's absence. ... The identity of the next Rays reliever to get a save chance is anyone's guess, not because Sergio Romo hasn't pitched well all season, but rather because of his recent usage. Consider these facts since Aug. 26 (and through Sept. 16): Jose Alvarado is 3-for-3 in save chances with eight scoreless appearances, while Romo has made just four appearances, is 3-for-3 in save chances but has a 5.40 ERA.
NOTES: Nate Jones' activation from the DL puts him in the White Sox's closer committee picture, as he saved the team's Sept. 14 game, while Hector Santiago and Juan Minaya saved the Sept. 12 and 15 games.
NOTES: Ty Buttrey has three saves in the past 10 days (through Sept. 16) and a 0.66 ERA in 13 appearances since the Angels acquired him, and appears to have taken over as the team's closer.
NOTES: Sean Doolittle was activated by the Nationals on Sept. 7, and it appears he's once again the favorite for saves in the Nationals' bullpen. Greg Holland, who has a 0.54 ERA and three saves in 18 appearances since joining the team in August (through Sept. 12), seems to be next-in-line.
NOTES: With both Brandon Morrow (DL: elbow) and Pedro Strop (hamstring) now sidelined, the Cubs will go to a committee of closers, probably led by Steve Cishek, but perhaps including Jesse Chavez, Carl Edwards Jr., Jorge De La Rosa and Justin Wilson. ... The Pirates have shut down Keone Kela for the season, meaning Kyle Crick will probably move back into his former eighth-inning role.
NOTES: Yoshihisa Hirano rebounded from an ugly blown save on Sept. 12 with a successful one on Sept. 14, meaning he now has each of the Diamondbacks' past three chances. He appears to be their new closer.