June Reliever Rankings

Matthew Pouliot
Rotoworld
We recap the week's biggest baseball news, including Nathan's injury, Hamilton's impending trade and brawl suspensions

Week That Was: So Long Joe

We recap the week's biggest baseball news, including Nathan's injury, Hamilton's impending trade and brawl suspensions

Here are the June Rankings. Players are ranked for the remainder of the season based on how I believe they’ll perform in 5x5 leagues. Players are also listed at the positions where they’re most valuable, so if you don’t see that third baseman you’re looking for, he’s probably listed at second or short.

Click to see other June rankings:

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

Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.


Relief pitcher Rankings

June

RP

Team

Apr

May

1

Craig Kimbrel

Braves

2

2

2

Kenley Jansen

Dodgers

1

1

3

Greg Holland

Royals

4

4

4

Trevor Rosenthal

Cardinals

3

3

5

Aroldis Chapman

Reds

13

9

6

Glen Perkins

Twins

6

5

7

David Robertson

Yankees

10

8

8

Koji Uehara

Red Sox

5

10

9

Sean Doolittle

Athletics

44

38

10

Joe Nathan

Tigers

7

6

11

Sergio Romo

Giants

11

11

12

Ernesto Frieri

Angels

8

17

13

Jonathan Papelbon

Phillies

15

12

14

Joakim Soria

Rangers

18

14

15

Rafael Soriano

Nationals

20

13

16

Steve Cishek

Marlins

17

15

17

Francisco Rodriguez

Brewers

56

7

18

Addison Reed

Diamondbacks

12

16

19

Fernando Rodney

Mariners

19

20

20

Casey Janssen

Blue Jays

25

22

21

Jenrry Mejia

Mets

105 SP

108 SP

22

Huston Street

Padres

29

23

23

Jason Grilli

Pirates

14

25

24

Grant Balfour

Rays

16

21

25

Hector Rondon

Cubs

169

27

26

Zach Britton

Orioles

112

NR

27

Chad Qualls

Astros

37

44

28

Cody Allen

Indians

30

31

29

LaTroy Hawkins

Rockies

33

26

30

Mark Melancon

Pirates

36

28

31

Joaquin Benoit

Padres

27

30

32

Jake McGee

Rays

39

37

33

Daniel Webb

White Sox

40

36

34

Ronald Belisario

White Sox

181

NR

35

John Axford

Indians

28

24

36

Bryan Shaw

Indians

97

NR

37

Jesse Crain

Astros

32

35

38

Tommy Hunter

Orioles

24

18

39

Wade Davis

Royals

50

46

40

Joba Chamberlain

Tigers

134

NR

41

Joe Smith

Angels

100

39

42

Brad Ziegler

Diamondbacks

48

42

43

Will Smith

Brewers

73

48

44

Danny Farquhar

Mariners

61

33

45

Darren O'Day

Orioles

47

56

46

Tyler Clippard

Nationals

42

49

47

A.J. Ramos

Marlins

43

41

48

Junichi Tazawa

Red Sox

41

47

49

Jean Machi

Giants

72

62

50

Rex Brothers

Rockies

31

45

51

Alex Torres

Padres

52

57

52

Joel Peralta

Rays

54

55

53

Sam LeCure

Reds

51

51

54

Drew Storen

Nationals

65

58

55

Jason Motte

Cardinals

71

63

56

Kelvin Herrera

Royals

46

67

57

Neil Ramirez

Cubs

285 SP

NR

58

Nick Vincent

Padres

59

54

59

Jake Petricka

White Sox

180

NR

60

Luke Gregerson

Athletics

80

43

61

Pedro Strop

Cubs

38

34

62

Tony Watson

Pirates

95

70

63

Jonathan Broxton

Reds

63

65

64

Jim Johnson

Athletics

9

19

65

Craig Stammen

Nationals

53

69

66

Juan Carlos Oviedo

Rays

170

NR

67

Danny Otero

Athletics

74

61

68

Brett Cecil

Blue Jays

121

50

69

Nate Jones

White Sox

23

74

70

Dellin Betances

Yankees

172

NR

71

Andrew Miller

Red Sox

89

NR

72

Aaron Loup

Blue Jays

60

76

73

Ryan Cook

Athletics

68

53

74

Aaron Barrett

Nationals

111

NR

75

David Carpenter

Braves

82

73

76

Pat Neshek

Cardinals

167

NR

77

Brandon Kintzler

Brewers

69

68

78

Santiago Casilla

Giants

70

64

79

Al Alburquerque

Tigers

62

NR

80

Jordan Walden

Braves

90

66

Dropping off (from top 70): Matt Lindstrom (No. 29), Kyle Farnsworth (No. 40), Chris Withrow (No. 52), Sergio Santos (No. 59), Josh Fields (No. 60)

  • I still think Nathan bounces back from this and rates as a top-10 fantasy closer the rest of the way. The modest drop in his velocity is natural and doesn’t seem to be related to any sort of injury. The fact that he’s given up four homers in 20 1/3 innings this year appears to be just as much of a fluke as him allowing just two homers in 64 1/3 innings last year. He wasn’t as good as that made him appear to be in 2013, just like he isn’t as bad as the homers make him appear to be now. If Nathan has another bad week right off, then maybe the Tigers will go to Chamberlain in the closer’s role for a little while. Still, I don’t expect it to come to that.

  • Balfour, on the other hand, hasn’t looked right at any point, and my guess is that he would have lost his job already had the Rays generated more leads to protect. He ended up getting just five chances in May (converting four, the last coming when he got one out in a three-run game). Maybe his stuff will improve, but I’m skeptical. I’m also not sure whether to recommend McGee, Peralta or even Oviedo as his heir. McGee is the Rays’ best reliever, but it’d drive up his arbitration salary if he’s used in the ninth and I expect the Rays will take that into consideration. Plus, he might be more useful coming into jams in earlier innings anyway. Oviedo would be a more attractive alternative if his velocity comes back up the more he works, though he’s been very effective so far even with his fastball down about three mph post-Tommy John surgery. Peralta would be the safer fallback.

  • The Orioles will get Hunter back from a groin strain in about a week, but it should remain Britton’s job until there’s reason to go to someone else. Britton has been Jim Johnson-like with his extreme groundball percentage and modest strikeout rate. His 0.91 ERA oversells him, but he’s a legitimately excellent reliever. What I’m not so sure about his whether his arm will hold up. He’s never been used as a reliever before, and the Orioles currently have him on an 87-inning pace. That will come down now that he’s working the ninth, but he’s still an injury risk, which is why Hunter and O’Day remain in the top 50 in the rankings here.

  • If the Indians still want Axford to reclaim the closing gig, they’re going about it oddly. He was left unused in the bullpen for a fourth straight day Saturday, with Allen picking up a second consecutive save as the last of four Indians relievers used. Axford has allowed runs just once in his last eight appearances, and his ERA is back down to 3.74. Allen hit a rough patch in the middle of May while contending with Shaw for save chances, but he’s now getting the nod over Shaw anyway and he made the most of it over the weekend. I was quite a bit more optimistic about Axford’s chances of getting the job back a week ago than I am now.

  • I debated about whether to list Betances at all. He’s been tremendous, but he seems destined to break down with the way Joe Girardi has used him.

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