Watch Now: A Season Of Injuries-What Gives? (1:43)

Who would have thought that a mere two week in, Mark Melancon, Joe Jimenez and Brandon Kintzler would rank among the most secure closers in baseball?

That's how much turnover we've already seen for the most volatile of roles, even from pitchers we'd least expect. It's gotten so bad that half the league, exactly 15 teams, have us wondering where we should be devoting our FAAB dollars — if not now, then when the other shoe drops.

I've divided those 15 teams and their closer situations into three categories: those that have seen the most recent upheaval, those that may be returning to normalcy, and those that remain as messy as ever.

Sorry to say the majority are in the first category.

Check out Scott White's takes on the top priorities on the Thursday Waiver Wire. Plus we discussed many of these developments Thursday on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast. Follow all our podcasts and subscribe here

Note: "Pecking order" refers to rosterability in Fantasy and not necessarily who's first in line for saves (though it's usually one and the same).    

The most recent upheaval

Cubs
Pecking order
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Rowan Wick CHC RP

There's no evidence the Cubs are ready to turn the page on Craig Kimbrel yet. in fact, reports after his latest meltdown Tuesday suggest they're still trying to work him through mechanical issues and an inconsistent release point. But Tuesday's appearance came after a three-day respite during which Rowan Wick was asked to close out two games, and he should be capable enough in the role after delivering a 2.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 last year. There can be only so much "working through it" in a 60-game season.
Confidence in front-runner: low

Astros
Pecking order

Prior to Josh James' reassignment there, Ryan Pressly was the only healthy non-rookie reliever left in the Astros bullpen, making him an obvious (and exciting) choice to replace the injured Roberto Osuna. He, after all, has a 1.95 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 since joining the the Astros in the middle of 2018, not to mention an old-school manager in Dusty Baker who would no doubt prefer to settle on one guy. But Pressly has had his own durability issues the past couple years, having already dealt with a sore elbow and lacerated thumb this year, which makes me wonder how hard the Astros are willing to work him.
Confidence in front-runner: medium 

Cardinals

No team's news beat puts more emphasis on the order that names are listed than the Cardinals' beat. Here's the latest example:

We heard something similar in summer camp only to see them turn the closer role over to Kwang Hyun Kim, but maybe now that Kim is needed in the rotation, Ryan Helsley gets his chance. Of course, Giovanny Gallegos is active now, which wasn't true back in summer camp, so I don't know why they wouldn't just go with the better pitcher. Keep the high-leverage guy flexible, I guess.
Confidence in front-runner: low 

Mets
Pecking order

The Mets have clearly pulled back on Edwin Diaz as their closer after he couldn't close the door in consecutive appearances last week. His most recent outings — both scoreless — have come prior to the ninth inning, and Seth Lugo got a chance to secure a two-out save, his second, Wednesday. The plan, though, seems to be to reinstall Diaz once he's stable again, and it's clear the Mets would prefer to keep Lugo in a role where he can work multiple innings, perhaps stealing saves occasionally.
Confidence in front-runner: medium

Angels

With Hansel Robles struggling to put away hitters, his average fastball velocity down about 2-3 mph in the early going, Angels manager Joe Maddon has confirmed the Angels are going the by-committee route for the time being. It sounds like the hope is to eventually move Robles back into the closer role, though.

It would be for the best, too. The "committee" so far, judging by his blown save Sunday and converted save Tuesday, is basically just Ty Buttrey, who, at last check, isn't very good.
Confidence in front-runner: low

Rangers
Pecking order
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Edinson Volquez TEX RP
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Jose Leclerc TEX RP

Beyond that first night, when they hurriedly warmed up Nick Goody to put him in position for a surprise save, the Rangers haven't had to worry about the closer role too much since losing Jose Leclerc, which may explain why they've been content to stick with Jonathan Hernandez in more of an eighth-inning role. The rookie is clearly their high-leverage guy, though, which would seem to make his ascension inevitable, but maybe they're hoping Rafael Montero can solidify the ninth inning when he returns from his bout with elbow tendinitis this weekend.
Confidence in front-runner: low  

Rockies
Pecking order

The vagueness of Wade Davis' injury (shoulder strain) means we can't put him out of our minds completely (unlike, say, Scott Oberg), but Jairo Diaz appears to have a firm grip on the closer role in the meantime, especially since he recorded five saves for the Rockies last September. Of course, he finished the year with a 4.53 ERA, so he could still find himself in trouble of his own making.
Confidence in front-runner: medium   

A return to normalcy?

Indians
Pecking order

This one was looking pretty dicey back when Brad Hand was struggling with velocity and James Karinchak had just delivered an easy six-pitch save the day after a big meltdown, but Hand's velocity has looked better the past couple outings. Karinchak has big bat-missing potential and the look of a future closer, but it would still be an upset if he's as good as Hand has been the past four years, delivering a 2.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 12.2 K/9.
Confidence in front-runner: high

Padres
Pecking order
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Kirby Yates SD RP

After being more or less untouchable the past two years, Kirby Yates has gotten touched up pretty good in the early going, requiring Drew Pomeranz to bail him out twice. But his velocity and pitch selection has been fine, and manager Jayce Tingler has already given him a strong vote of confidence. Yates notched three strikeouts in recording his first save Monday, though he also served up a home run.
Confidence in front-runner: high   

Pirates
Pecking order
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Keone Kela PIT RP

Pirates manager Derek Shelton did us all the courtesy of straight-up declaring that Keone Kela would be back in the closer role as soon as he's back up to speed after a lengthy absence for COVID-19 — which could be any day now. Of course, we could have deduced as much once fill-in closer Nick Burdi went down with another elbow injury. I can only assume setup man Richard Rodriguez is now the one bridging the gap to Kela's return. 
Confidence in front-runner: high

As messy as ever

Orioles

Cole Sulser entered play Wednesday one of just eight relievers with three or more saves, which is amazing considering that he, A, pitches for the Orioles and, B, is Cole Sulser, who was on absolutely no one's radar coming into the year. The fact that two of the saves were of the two-inning variety gives me some pause, as does the Orioles' expected lack of opportunities, but the fact they've kept going back to him suggests they've settled on him, at least until Hunter Harvey is healthy again.  
Confidence in front-runner: low 

Giants
Pecking order
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Trevor Gott SF RP

Manager Gabe Kapler is basically Captain Committee, but I feel like I've zeroed in on what he's doing. By process of elimination, it pretty much has to be Trevor Gott, who indeed has contributed all three of the team's saves so far. Tyler Rogers has been a disaster, and presumed front-runner Tony Watson has been used sparingly, not once in the ninth. The one time Gott wasn't held back for the ninth, he pitched the eighth against the heart of the Rangers lineup, which suggests he's Kapler's most trusted reliever. It will mean he's usually the one getting the save. 
Confidence in front-runner: medium 

Rays
Pecking order
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Jose Alvarado TB RP

Well, we haven't seen Oliver Drake record a save in over a week, and it's not like the Rays have been holding him back for the ninth inning. Of course, their only reliever to record a save since Drake is Nick Anderson, who did so despite the Rays having a four-run lead Tuesday. Unusual circumstances there, obviously. Anderson remains the top choice to roster in Fantasy for the ratio help, but it's anybody guess who's getting the save on any given day.
Confidence in front-runner: low 

Royals
Pecking order
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Greg Holland KC RP

Surprisingly, manager Mike Matheny appears to have subscribed to the Kevin Cash approach of keeping us guessing who's in line for the next save. I'm pretty sure it's not last year's closer, Ian Kennedy, whose extensive work so far has come entirely in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and Greg Holland's only real look as the closer came in an extra-inning game. That leaves Trevor Rosenthal, who certainly has the stuff to close, but even he has mostly appeared in the eighth inning of games so far.
Confidence in front-runner: low 

Mariners
Pecking order
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Carl Edwards SEA RP
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Austin Adams SEA RP
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Matt Magill SEA RP

Did the Mariners just find their closer? Seeing Carl Edwards strike out two to preserve a one-run lead Wednesday was enough to make me wonder why he wasn't doing it all along. He was, after all, thought to be a closer-in-waiting with the Cubs, putting together a 3.06 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 12.3 K/9 across four seasons before shoulder woes derailed him. Taylor Williams, who got knocked around in the eighth inning Wednesday, still leads the team with two saves, and the eventual returns of Austin Adams and Yoshihisa Hirano could further complicate an already messy situation.
Confidence in front-runner: low