Welcome to our weekly Closer Hot Seat column! Each week — usually on Mondays — we’ll update this space to give you an easy-to-reference guide on who might be closest to losing their jobs. Note that this isn’t necessarily a ranking of the best closers; rather, it’s a guide to job security.
Latest update: June 13, 2016
The closer carousel is beginning to spin as we get to the middle of June. In the past couple weeks, Luke Gregerson and Kevin Jepsen have lost their jobs due to performance, while Jake McGee went down with an injury. If you missed out on the replacements for those three guys, where should you look next? Probably still those teams, as their bullpens are not exactly settled.
Brandon Kintzler leads the committee in Minnesota right now, but Fernando Abad has better numbers, and was likely going to get the call in the ninth on Sunday if all had gone according to plan. Kintzler pitched the eighth with a three-run lead but got no one out, and was pulled for Abad. Abad went two innings without allowing an earned run, but still got tagged with a blown save because he let one of Kintzler’s runners score to tie the game.
In Houston, Will Harris has been good, but he gave up a run in his last save opportunity. Ken Giles has been pitching better and Gregerson is still hanging around. Ross Ohlendorf might deserve another look in Cincinnati: Tony Cingrani has seven saves but also five blown saves. Ohlendorf picked up his first save over the weekend and could challenge for saves if Cingrani keeps struggling — as well as on occasions when Cingrani, the only lefty in the Reds’ bullpen, is used earlier in a game. Santiago Casilla has also had a rough June. He has two losses and one blown save, and he was pulled from another save opportunity. Hunter Strickland has classic closer stuff, but Cory Gearrin has been the better pitcher this year.
Hottest: In a committee or on the verge of losing their job right now.
30. Brandon Kintzler (Handcuff: Fernando Abad)
Hot: Guys who could be in danger after their next blown save.
29. Tony Cingrani (Handcuff: Ross Ohlendorf)
28. Will Harris (Handcuffs: Ken Giles, Luke Gregerson)
27. Carlos Estevez (Handcuffs: Jason Motte, Boone Logan)
26. Ryan Madson (Handcuff: Sean Doolittle)
25. Santiago Casilla (Handcuffs: Cory Gearrin, Hunter Strickland)
Warmish: Two blown saves in a row and these players might be in trouble.
24. Jeremy Jeffress
23. Jeanmar Gomez
22. Sam Dyson
Cool: These players would have to blow 3 consecutive saves for their jobs to be in jeopardy.
21. Huston Street
20. Steve Cishek
19. Francisco Rodriguez
18. Roberto Osuna
17. A.J. Ramos
16. Alex Colome
15. Cody Allen
14. Fernando Rodney
13. Arodys Vizcaino
12. Trevor Rosenthal
11. Jeurys Familia
10. Brad Ziegler
9. David Robertson
8. Hector Rondon
7. Jonathan Papelbon
6. Mark Melancon
5. Craig Kimbrel
4. Aroldis Chapman
Sub-zero: These players would have to blow 4+ consecutive saves for their jobs to be in jeopardy.
3. Wade Davis
2. Zach Britton
1. Kenley Jansen