July Reliever Rankings

Matthew Pouliot
Rotoworld
Matthew Pouliot breaks down the July relief pitcher rankings

July Reliever Rankings

Matthew Pouliot breaks down the July relief pitcher rankings

Here are the July reliever rankings. As always, players are ranked based on how I believe they will perform in 5x5 scoring over the rest of the season. Included along with the position rankings you'll find a fully updated top 300 list.

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Click to see other July rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

Relief pitcher Rankings


Dropping off: Brandon League (No. 23), Jose Valverde (No. 38), Brian Wilson (No. 48), Carter Capps (No. 51), Ryan Madson (No. 57), Sam LeCure (No. 59), Robert Coello (No. 61), J.J. Hoover (No. 66), Tim Collins (No. 69), Joe Smith (No. 70)

  • Teams that might trade their closers this month:

Somewhat likely: Cubs, Astros, Marlins, Phillies

Less likely: White Sox, Twins, Indians, Mets, Rockies, Padres

I didn't include the Brewers in the list, since they'll keep their closer (Henderson). However, they should have both K-Rod and Axford on the block, and it's possible one of them could close for another team, though it's more likely that they'd remain setup men.

Gregg would seem to be the closer most likely to go, and it's a mess behind him in the Cubs pen, one without even Carlos Marmol as a fallback option any longer. Russell, Carlos Villanueva and Parker look like the favorite for saves at the moment, but it's such a fluid situation that none crack the top 60 here. Villanueva remains listed with the starting pitchers since he's a candidate to go back into the rotation when Garza is traded.

The Astros could close with either Ambriz or Cisnero if Veras goes. Ambriz has been the eighth-inning guy, so he would seem to have the early edge. Cisnero looks like the better pitcher, though I doubt he'll maintain anything close to his current 2.14 ERA.

Ramos hasn't been good enough to deserve a look as the sole closer in Miami if Cishek is traded, but I still think he's the best bet of the group. My guess is that they'll end up keeping Cishek anyway since no one seems likely to step forward with a particularly bold offer.

I don't think Papelbon goes either, but if it happens, Bastardo would seem to be the top choice for saves in Philadelphia. Ideally, Phillippe Aumont would step up and give the Phillies a righty alternative, but that still may be a ways off from happening.

As for the rest: the White Sox are far more likely to trade Crain than Reed, though they've moved young relievers before when the price was right. The Twins have Perkins signed cheap for a couple of more years, so they have little interest in making a move. Trading Perez would be a gutsy move for the Indians. I think it's unlikely, but they could go back to Pestano if it happens. Parnell is in the same class with Reed, and I don't imagine that another team will step forward with the kind of offer it would take to pry him away from the Mets. In Colorado, Brothers has emerged as the team's best reliever. The Rockies, though, are probably going to have to keep both he and Betancourt, even if Brothers takes over as closer. The Padres will probably be open to moving Street, but as awful as he's looked, it seems unlikely that anyone will want him.

  • I'm keeping Bailey ranked above Uehara in Boston. This is the first time in his career that he's ever struggled like this, and the Red Sox had no choice but to replace him for a spell. However, he is healthy and a quick turnaround remains a possibility. The Red Sox would prefer to have Uehara in a setup role, so there's little doubt they'll go back to Bailey once he shows he's ready.

  • I'm also sticking with the former closer in Seattle, even though Wilhelmsen is a mess right now. Medina has a long history of control problems and while Perez has been a great find, he's still primarily a matchup guy. I'd take Medina for July, but Wilhelmsen for the rest of the season.

  • Thanks to the spectacular failures of Bell, Putz is waltzing right back into his old closer gig in Arizona. However, I remain skeptical about his chances of holding up while pitching with a damaged elbow. That's why he comes in at No. 30 rather than 10 spots higher.

  • Because of the possibility they'll become setup men as a result of trades, Gregg and Veras are also lower than they otherwise might be.

  • Benoit is another who could be turned back into a setup man by a trade, though in his case, it'd be because the Tigers would acquire someone to close over him. I think that's likely to happen at the end of the month, but if it doesn't, it's entirely possible Benoit will be a top-15 fantasy closer the rest of the way.

Rank

RP

Team

2013

May

June

1

Craig Kimbrel

Braves

1

1

1

2

Aroldis Chapman

Reds

2

2

2

3

Mariano Rivera

Yankees

5

3

3

4

Jason Grilli

Pirates

30

12

5

5

Jonathan Papelbon

Phillies

4

4

4

6

Rafael Soriano

Nationals

6

6

7

7

Jim Johnson

Orioles

11

8

8

8

Joe Nathan

Rangers

8

7

9

9

Glen Perkins

Twins

9

10

10

10

Kenley Jansen

Dodgers

28

31

27

11

Addison Reed

White Sox

10

9

6

12

Grant Balfour

Athletics

22

16

12

13

Edward Mujica

Cardinals

88

23

13

14

Fernando Rodney

Rays

3

5

15

15

Greg Holland

Royals

17

17

17

16

Sergio Romo

Giants

12

11

14

17

Casey Janssen

Blue Jays

25

21

18

18

Ernesto Frieri

Angels

33

25

20

19

Bobby Parnell

Mets

23

22

16

20

Chris Perez

Indians

19

14

24

21

Jim Henderson

Brewers

141

24

31

22

Jose Veras

Astros

35

36

32

23

Rafael Betancourt

Rockies

24

18

26

24

Huston Street

Padres

13

20

25

25

Joaquin Benoit

Tigers

40

37

36

26

Andrew Bailey

Red Sox

63

29

19

27

Kevin Gregg

Cubs

266

34

21

28

Rex Brothers

Rockies

52

46

28

29

Steve Cishek

Marlins

21

26

37

30

J.J. Putz

Diamondbacks

15

19

NR

31

Koji Uehara

Red Sox

59

52

50

32

Tom Wilhelmsen

Mariners

16

13

11

33

Mark Melancon

Pirates

29

32

30

34

Trevor Rosenthal

Cardinals

46

30

29

35

Yoervis Medina

Mariners

458

NR

NR

36

Vinnie Pestano

Indians

48

51

33

37

Jake McGee

Rays

44

NR

52

38

Tanner Scheppers

Rangers

131

NR

45

39

Francisco Rodriguez

Brewers

85

NR

34

40

Sean Doolittle

Athletics

32

33

35

41

David Robertson

Yankees

53

56

44

42

Jesse Crain

White Sox

101

NR

55

43

Ryan Cook

Athletics

36

41

47

44

A.J. Ramos

Marlins

57

44

43

45

Drew Smyly

Tigers

151 SP

91 SP

105 SP

46

David Hernandez

Diamondbacks

43

49

42

47

Joel Peralta

Rays

70

NR

40

48

John Axford

Brewers

7

39

46

49

Luke Gregerson

Padres

69

48

39

50

Tyler Clippard

Nationals

56

NR

58

51

Bruce Rondon

Tigers

47

58

53

52

Luis Avilan

Braves

79

NR

65

53

Oliver Perez

Mariners

196

NR

NR

54

Junichi Tazawa

Red Sox

54

47

41

55

Jose Cisnero

Astros

338 SP

NR

NR

56

Heath Bell

Diamondbacks

90

NR

22

57

Jared Burton

Twins

65

55

49

58

Hector Ambriz

Astros

221

NR

56

59

Darren O'Day

Orioles

67

NR

54

60

Robbie Ross

Rangers

100

NR

62

61

Drew Storen

Nationals

41

54

63

62

Brad Ziegler

Diamondbacks

94

NR

68

63

James Russell

Cubs

144

59

67

64

Tommy Hunter

Orioles

82

NR

NR

65

Antonio Bastardo

Phillies

77

NR

NR

66

Jordan Walden

Braves

68

NR

NR

67

Al Alburquerque

Tigers

37

40

NR

68

Dale Thayer

Padres

150

NR

60

69

Cody Allen

Indians

116

NR

64

70

Blake Parker

Cubs

NR

NR

NR

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