All we know is it'll be a long, long time before we see him again. Potentially even next season. The blood clot in his shoulder may even require the same procedure Matt Harvey had last season -- you know, the one we're still talking about.
But of course, we've seen the Mets bullpen operate without Familia already this season -- the defending MLB saves champ was suspended for the first 15 games of the season -- and there was never any doubt who would be the one to replace him: Addison Reed, the former White Sox and Diamondbacks closer who the Mets acquired late in 2015 and who has pitched like a bullpen ace ever since, compiling a 2.03 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 116 appearances.
And he was fine during Familia's suspension. He had one definitively bad outing in nine and converted all four of his save chances. His strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18 innings is 22-to-0. He's everything anyone would want in a closer, and now he has the role all to himself on a team with playoff aspirations.
Sign me up.
But Reed isn't the only reliever to be recently anointed closer. Let's see how he compares to some of the others who might still be available in your league. To be clear, these are rankings. I've ordered these pitchers by my own personal preference.
Well, what do you know? Reed is at the top of the list. And why wouldn't he be? He's a premier setup man with closer experience who won't have the man he's replacing breathing down his neck. He would have already been the closer for maybe one-third of the teams in baseball, but now he's ascending to the role for the one that produced the MLB saves leader last year. And I'm not sure he isn't the better pitcher to begin with.
Honestly, I don't see what advantage a Kelvin Herrera or Seung-Hwan Oh has over Reed at this point, so he's basically top-15 by default.
The Tigers' official position is that they've removed Francisco Rodriguez from the closer role until he's ready to reclaim it, but in what universe is that happening? The guy barely tops 90 mph with his fastball anymore and put together an 8.49 ERA and 2.06 WHIP before the Tigers finally pulled the plug, giving up at least one earned run in nine of his 13 appearances. It's a miracle he got as many saves as he did.
Rodriguez is one of the best ever in the closer role, but it's like when you finally give in and break out the emergency poncho. You know you're never getting it back in that little plastic baggy. Looking at Justin Wilson's numbers -- in particular the 23 strikeouts to four hits in his 14 2/3 innings -- the Tigers won't miss K-Rod.
Brad Brach has been the most productive of this group so far, recording eight saves, but that's only because he has a head start in the role, having filled in for Zach Britton during the lefty's first DL stint in mid-April. This latest one, for the same forearm injury, figures to last more than week or two, with the latest reports suggesting Britton will miss as much as two months.
The potential for setback with this particular injury means there's a non-zero chance Brach is the Orioles closer from now until season's end, which makes him absolutely worth the investment given the Orioles' plentiful save chances and his own 2.05 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 10.5 strikeouts per innings in 71 appearances as a setup man last year.
The only problem is he has been shaky during this second stint in this role, most notably allowing three earned runs in just one-third of an inning Wednesday, which gives him a short leash in the short term even if his upside remains high in the long term. Manager Buck Showalter doesn't think it's an actual problem -- Brach simply needs to tighten up his command -- and he's probably right, but closers have lost their job for less.
Matt Bush isn't exactly new to the closer role, but he has recorded just two saves in his three weeks on the job. That's not going to be a long-term concern. The Rangers actually have a positive run differential and aren't going to be the cellar dwellers they've been so far. But the fact is Bush remains untested in the role and has no shortage of capable closer alternatives breathing down his neck, from Keone Kela to former Brewers ninth-inning man to Jeremy Jeffress to (once he's healthy again) Jose Leclerc.
Still, Bush is clearly the Rangers best reliever, and while he hasn't exactly staked his claim yet, he hasn't given them any reason to consider pulling the plug either. Even though he's fourth on this list, he deserves to be owned in more than 61 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Like Bush, Bud Norris has been in this role for several weeks now, but Fantasy owners have been slow to come around to him -- and for good reason. The 32-year-old has spent close to a decade as a mediocre starting pitcher in the majors. But in short relief, he's throwing 97 mph and getting a lot more swings and misses on his slider. Perhaps he was miscast as a starting pitcher all along.
In the long run, it may not matter. Cam Bedrosian (groin) has begun throwing again and has pitched like a front-line closer for the last year-plus. Then again, manager Mike Scioscia seemed reluctant to give him the job out of spring training, wanting to keep his best reliever in a versatile multi-inning role, sort of like the Indians do with Andrew Miller, and now he has a viable alternative. I'd still bet against Norris keeping the job, which is why he's near the bottom of this list, but I'm saying there's a chance.
I can't completely rule out Derek Law sticking in the role for an extended period of time. Mark Melancon has a strained forearm, after all, and so to do so would mean to ignore the lessons learned from the Zach Britton situation, which should be fresh on all of our minds. But all signs point to a minimal DL stint for Melancon -- perhaps only a week, thanks to backdating -- and Law didn't exactly make a good first impression in the role, allowing two earned runs before ultimately converting the save Wednesday. In fact, after the game, Bochy said he would "mix it up" while Melancon is out.
Though it's still fair to call Law the favorite, he's only worth rostering in leagues where saves are nowhere to be found on the waiver wire.