Holmes, King, and Castro, just like the Yankees planned it

May 26, 2022

New York Yankees — The Yankees’ season-opening hierarchy has been reunited, but this time on the injured list. Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder discomfort) joined Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green on the shelf Wednesday, leaving Miguel Castro and Wandy Peralta as the team’s top seventh-inning options. Rookie Ron Marinaccio pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts last night and could also be in line for some holds.

Updated hierarchy: Holmes | King | Castro.

Cincinnati Reds – Well, the Reds used their hierarchy in our prescribed order on Wednesday: Tony Santillan to Alexis Diaz to Art Warren. Only problem is that left the ninth inning for Hunter Strickland, the fourth member of the closer committee. It’s possible that Strickland entered to be the designated plunker after some Rowan Wick-Joey Votto drama in the previous half-inning. Whatever the explanation, this remains the absolute last team you want to roster a reliever from.

Hierarchy remains: *Warren | Diaz | Santillan.
* = closer-by-committee

Tampa Bay Rays — J.P. Feyereisen (0.00 ERA, 0.43 WHIP, 23 K in 21 IP) struck out the 2-3-4 hitters in the eighth against Miami, leaving the ninth for Colin Poche. The save didn’t come easy, with two infield singles, a walk, and an error, but the lefty came through. This means nothing for Tampa’s hierarchy, because nothing ever means anything for Tampa’s hierarchy. Anyone can and will pitch at any time, and there’s not a dang thing we, you, or Goose Gossage can do about it.

Hierarchy remains: *Raley | Feyereisen | Beeks.
* = closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins — Miami’s first game with Anthony Bender sidelined saw putative committee leader Cole Sulser pitch down two in the sixth, with Dylan Floro appearing in the eighth. Those two guys are pretty much in a dead heat with Anthony Bass and Tanner Scott; if you must speculate, Bass and Sulser have the best numbers, Scott has the strikeouts (but also the walks), and Floro has the recent pedigree (but also some bad outings since his injury). 

Updated hierarchy: *Sulser | Bass | Scott.
* = closer-by-committee

Detroit Tigers — Andrew Chafin picked up the 10th-inning save for Detroit on Wednesday after Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer had already been used. Alex Lange has also been excellent in 20 appearances this season and is battling for a hierarchy role.

Hierarchy remains: Soto | Fulmer | Chafin.

Oakland A’s — Zach Jackson grabbed his ninth hold of 2022 in the eighth inning last night, and he and A.J. Puk have leapt over Domingo Acevedo (and Lou Trivino) in the A’s pecking order.

Updated hierarchy: Jimenez | Puk | Jackson.

Chicago White Sox — Aaron Bummer is back from the injured list and back in the seventh for Chicago.

Updated hierarchy: Hendriks | Graveman | Bummer.

1. Michael King (NYY) — Aaron Boone likes to avoid using relievers in three straight games.
2. Jhoan Duran (MIN) — Emilio Pagan has thrown 49 pitches over three days (two appearances).
3. Brad Boxberger/Trevor Gott (MIL) — Devin Williams has pitched in three straight.

1. Michael Fulmer (DET) — Gregory Soto threw 25 pitches Wednesday and won’t go in three straight.
2. A.J. Puk (OAK) — Dany Jimenez has pitched back-to-back, but with the lowest pitch count of Oakland’s best relievers. If he goes Thursday, though, he’ll be off Friday.

Updated MLB Closer Depth Chart

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* = closer-by-committee

Clay Holmes to close for Yankees while Aroldis Chapman is on IL

May 25, 2022

New York Yankees — Aroldis Chapman was placed on the IL on Tuesday with an achilles injury. Clay Holmes should be the primary option to close while Chapman is out, but Michael King could also be in the mix.

Updated hierarchy: Holmes | King | Loaisiga.

Minnesota Twins – Emilio Pagan threw 28 pitches over two innings on Monday, so Jhoan Duran got the ninth inning on Tuesday and converted his second save over the last three days.  

Hierarchy remains: *Pagan | Duran | Duffey.
* = closer-by-committee

Pittsburgh Pirates — Heath Hembree is on the IL, which means we welcome Duane Underwood Jr. to the hierarchy. Underwood is someone who can throw multiple innings as a bridge to Chris Stratton and David Bednar.

Updated hierarchy: Bednar | Stratton | Underwood Jr.

Chicago Cubs — Robert Gsellman pitched the final three innings of an 11-4 win to earn his first gsave with the Cubs.

Hierarchy remains: Robertson | Wick | Givens.


1. Alex Colome (COL) – Daniel Bard threw 35 pitches last night.
2. Brad Boxberger (MIL) – Devin Williams has pitched in two straight.
3. Wil Crowe (PIT) – David Bednar has thrown two in a row while Chris Stratton and Duane Underwood Jr. both threw 26 pitches last night. Pittsburgh is off Thursday but still may choose to rest their top relievers on Wednesday.

1. Ryan Tepera (LAA) – If Raisel Iglesias pitches today it’s two straight and four of five.
2. Domingo Acevedo/A.J. Puk (OAK) – If Dany Jimenez pitches it will be two in a row, while for Acevedo it will be three straight days of work.
3. Will Smith (ATL) – If any member of the Atlanta hierarchy pitches on Wednesday it will be two straight, but Smith should have today off after throwing 29 pitches on Tuesday.
4. Jose Alvarado (PHI) – Joe Girardi said last night he won’t use Corey Knebel (or any reliever) three straight days, but he also may not use Knebel in three of four depending on Wednesday’s usage.

Devin Williams to close in Josh Hader’s absence

May 24, 2022

Tampa Bay Rays – Andrew Kittredge was placed on the IL over the weekend. He’s been an arm that the Rays have called upon frequently in the late innings (and he’s the most-owned Rays reliever in fantasy), so it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt to his absence. Personally, we’d like to see Jalen Beeks (1.54 ERA, 0.80 WHIP) get some more high-leverage spots, so we’ll try and manifest that by sliding him on to the hierarchy in Kittredge’s absence.

Updated hierarchy: *Raley | Feyereisen | Beeks.
* = closer-by-committee

St. Louis Cardinals – In a tie game in the 8th inning, Giovanny Gallegos was summoned; Ryan Helsley got the 9th before the Cardinals walked off in the 10th. Might be nothing to see here — Gallegos was facing the 4-5-6 hitters — but Helsley has been arguably baseball’s best reliever so far this season, and Oliver Marmol might be considering a different approach. Either way, Helsley is worth adding, even in shallow leagues.

Hierarchy remains: Gallegos | Helsley | Cabrera.

New York Yankees – Aroldis Chapman’s recent absence now has an explanation — the Yankees’ closer has been dealing with an achilles issue. An IL stint may be warranted; we’ll monitor and alert as appropriate. Having also just lost Chad Green for the year to Tommy John surgery, a Chapman injury would leave Clay Holmes and Michael King as the likely contenders for saves on most nights.

Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Holmes | King.

Milwaukee Brewers – All-star closer Josh Hader was placed on the family medical emergency list on Monday. No timetable was given for a return date. Devin Williams should handle closing duties in the meantime.

Updated hierarchy: Williams | Boxberger | Gott.


1. Dillon Tate – Jorge Lopez and Felix Bautista have both gone two straight.
2. Jose Alvarado – Corey Knebel has gone two straight.

1. Brad Boxberger – If Devin Williams goes today, it’s back to back.
2. Rowan Wick – If David Robertson goes today, it’s back to back and three of four.