June Reliever RankingsThursday, June 14, 2012
Welcome to the June reliever rankings. Players are ranked based on how I believe they will perform in 5x5 leagues over the remainder of the season. Along with the position rankings, you'll soon find a fully updated top 250 list.
Click to see other June rankings:
Top 250 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH
Relief pitcher Rankings
Dropping off: Mariano Rivera (3rd), Brian Wilson (13th), Mark Melancon (33rd), Fautino De Los Santos (40th), Rex Brothers (44th), Fernando Salas (46th)
- As radically different as the closer list is from the start of the season, one thing hasn't changed; the top is still dominated by NL relievers. Rivera was the only AL closer in the top eight at the beginning of the year, and with him out of the mix, the high AL closer is Joe Nathan at No. 8. Of course, Nathan could be ranked higher, but the injury possibility is still pretty high there, and the Rangers may put Neftali Feliz back in the pen after the All-Star break.
- The list of sure things in the closer rankings is a very short one. Even Jason Motte, who I have at No. 7, might be a candidate to lose his job with a couple of more shaky outings. His WHIP and strikeout rate are great, but he already has three losses and three blown saves. I'm not at all impressed by the way Jose Valverde is throwing, but he still seems safer than most of the guys below him on the list. Once outside of the top 15, the next 20 or so guys are mostly injury replacements, injured themselves or candidates to be traded.
- Tom Wilhelmsen has been closing in place of League in Seattle lately, but he didn't make the top 65. League is likely to get the job back within days, and I'm not at all convinced Wilhelmsen will still be the preferred backup by the time League is traded, if League is traded.
- Likewise the Padres lack a clear backup, particularly now that Andrew Cashner is rotation bound. Dale Thayer isn't at all likely to be the choice. The newly recalled Brad Boxberger is someone to keep an eye on.
- Wilton Lopez has spent most of the last three years as Houston's best reliever, though that doesn't necessarily mean he'd close if Myers is traded. Brandon Lyon might get the first shot, assuming he isn't traded before Myers.
- I favor Greg Holland as the Royals' fallback closer, though Aaron Crow is a realistic candidate as well. Tim Collins is throwing better than anyone in that pen right now, but he's still a long shot.
- The Twins would likely slide Glen Perkins into the closer's role if they find a taker for Capps.