Closer Report: 7th edition, 2015

Closer Report: 7th edition, 2015

Cishek's struggles continue

It's been a rough 2015 for Steve Cishek. Not too long ago, he was one of the most attractive second-tier relief options in fantasy drafts, but the Marlins' side-winder has now lost his closer's role after a rough start to the season. Cishek has a 10.13 ERA with 13 strikeouts and eight walks in 11 1/3 innings. He's blown more than half of his eight save chances and has allowed multiple runs in four of his 13 appearances. The biggest beneficiary from this change could be A.J. Ramos, who has been stellar this season. At this point, it's likely he's owned in your league, but if he's not the time to add him is now.

Jansen set to return this week

The back of the Dodgers' bullpen has been effective, if disorganized. The team hasn't suffered too much in the early part of the season, but fantasy owners have been left guessing for six weeks. That's about to change with stud closer Kenley Jansen looking like he'll return in the coming weekend. Jansen has been one of the truly elite relievers in baseball over the past four years, and there's not much reason to expect much else from the 27-year-old. The unfortunate thing for those who don't own him is that it'll be nearly impossible to acquire him without overpaying. Those who have stashed Jansen to this point don't have much reason to sell him off right now, as he's about to make his return.

McGee also nearing return

He's not quite as far along on his rehab road as Jansen, but Jake McGee should be back in Tampa Bay's bullpen relatively soon. Although he is not quite as established as Jansen and other highly regarded closers, he has an outstanding track record in his favor. In 222 career innings, McGee has struck out 11 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.6. His return may dishearten Brad Boxberger owners, but I wouldn't go dumping him for a low return just yet. The Rays have never been afraid to abandon conventional bullpen roles, and having a talented double-barreled duo makes them more likely to play matchups earlier in games. The two relievers will cancel out a chunk of each other's save chances, but they should rack up enough to stay extremely valuable when paired with their strikeout totals and strong ratios. Ideally one would find a way to own both, but owning either one should pay dividends in all but the shallowest of leagues.

Kimbrel isn't Kimbreling

The mouths of Craig Kimbrel owners around the world watered to a dangerous degree when the All-Star was traded to San Diego right as the season began, and for good reason. He's been an elite performer in all categories since coming into the league, and he found himself moving to the best pitchers' park in the game. Well, things haven't exactly gone according to that plan so far, as Kimbrel has a 5.68 ERA. It should be obvious that he will be fine. Kimbrel's strikeout totals are still high, and his walk totals are still entirely manageable. Still, there are people who believe all -- even the elite -- relievers are completely vulnerable to collapse. If you're in a league where one of those people owns Kimbrel and is open to trading him, jump all over that. It's very rare that an elite player at any position is available for trade, and it won't be the case in most leagues. If you do have a chance to acquire one of the two best closers in the game, do not pass that up.

Quick hits

• It hasn't really been a secret, but Joe Girardi finally confirmed that Andrew Miller is indeed the Yankees' closer. There's not too much significance here, but it means the end for those who held out hope for Dellin Betances taking that job over. To those people, I have two things to say. Firstly, how have you made it so far in life remaining so optimistic? Secondly, this doesn't mean you should drop Betances, as he's one of the two best non-closers for fantasy purposes in the league.

• The Angels' Huston Street had a rough week with two blown saves. His peripherals are still strong enough where there are no worries to be had with him. Street has been one of the most underrated relievers of the past decade, and he should continue to be one of the steadier options in the league for the rest of the year.

Mark Melancon gave up a home run to Odubel Herrera on Monday night, breaking an eight-game scoreless outing streak. It's been an extremely inconsistent year for the Pirates' closer, who has watched his velocity and strikeouts fall. Melancon's stock has certainly dropped from the start of the year, but he's been good enough of late to have some leash left before potentially losing his closer job.

Jason Grilli missed some time last week to back spasms. While back injuries are always worrisome, it doesn't appear this will be a long-term issue for the Braves' closer. Grilli has performed admirably after Kimbrel's departure, and he should have a strong hold on the closer role as long as he stays with Atlanta.

A version of this story originally appeared on Baseball Prospectus.

Matt Collins is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.