Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated July 15)
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 left his July 7 outing with a recurrence of left knee tendinitis, so David Robertson got the save in Chapman's absence on July 8. Robertson appears to be next in line for Yankees saves, despite setup man Dellin Betances' excellence of late. ... Sergio Romo has recorded the vast majority of the Rays' saves -- nine of 14 through July 8 -- since Alex Colome's trade, and Chaz Roe's (DL: meniscus tear) injury further supports Romo being the team's go-to option in the ninth. Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo are likely the two next in line.
NOTES: Hector Rondon has been the traditional closer for the Astros as of late and appears to be the team's go-to option in the ninth inning ahead of Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock. Ken Giles was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on July 11 and is no longer in the saves picture until he regains his spot on the big-league roster.
NOTES: Arodys Vizcaino (DL: shoulder) is sidelined once again, so A.J. Minter should serve as the Braves' closer to begin the season's second half. ... Victor Arano has converted each of the Phillies' past three saves (on July 4, 7 and 8), though Tommy Hunter began the ninth inning of the latter and was unable to finish the game. The Phillies continue to look like one of the game's most obvious closer-by-committee arrangements, with Arano, Seranthony Dominguez and Hunter the three most logical options. ... Sean Doolittle (toe) is expected to be ready to rejoin the Nationals in time for their first game after the All-Star break on July 20, but Kelvin Herrera will serve as the team's closer until then. Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Madson will be the primary setup men.
NOTES: Brandon Morrow and Carl Edwards Jr. have returned from the DL, giving the Cubs a much deeper bullpen. Edwards, Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek could rotate the setup duty for the foreseeable future. ... Bud Norris converted a successful save opportunity on July 7 and appears to be recovered from his finger injury.
NOTES: The Giants have been using a closer-by-committee in Hunter Strickland's (DL: hand) absence, with Mark Melancon, Will Smith, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson and Reyes Moronta each a candidate for save chances. Smith's successful July 7 save, against the right-handed heart of the Cardinals' order, suggests he's the current favorite.