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2009 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Relief Pitchers

Ranking the top 30 closers

By

Updated March 17, 2009

By Kevin Kleps, Fantasy Correspondent

The top 25 fantasy baseball relief pitchers for the 2009 season, with 2008 statistics in parentheses):

    1. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox (5-4, 2.34 ERA, 41-46 saves, 77 K, 69.1 IP)
    2. Joe Nathan, Twins (1-2, 1.33 ERA, 39-45 saves, 74 K, 67.2 IP)
    3. Brad Lidge, Phillies (2-0, 1.95 ERA, 41-41 saves, 92 K, 69.1 IP)
    4. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets (2-3, 2.24 ERA, 62-69 saves, 77 K, 68.1 IP)
    5. Mariano Rivera, Yankees (6-5, 1.40 ERA, 39-40 saves, 77 K, 70.2 IP)
    6. Joakim Soria, Royals (2-3, 1.60 ERA, 42-45 saves, 66 K, 67.1 IP)
    7. Carlos Marmol, Cubs (2-4, 2.68 ERA, 7-9 saves, 114 K, 87.1 IP)
    8. Jose Valverde, Astros (6-3, 3.38 ERA, 44-51 saves, 83 K, 72 IP)
    9. Brian Fuentes, Angels (1-5, 2.73 ERA, 30-34 saves, 82 K, 62.2 IP)
    10. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers (3-5, 3.13 ERA, 14-22 saves, 88 K)
    11. Bobby Jenks, White Sox (3-1, 2.63 ERA, 30-34 saves, 38 K, 61.2 IP)
    12. Kerry Wood, Indians (5-4, 3.26 ERA, 34-40 saves, 84 K, 66.1 IP)
    13. Francisco Cordero, Reds (5-4, 3.33 ERA, 34-40 saves, 78 K, 70.1 IP)
    14. B.J. Ryan, Blue Jays (2-4, 2.95 ERA, 32-36 saves, 58 K, 58 IP)
    15. Matt Capps, Pirates (2-3, 3.02 ERA, 21-26 saves, 39 K, 53.2 IP)
    16. Trevor Hoffman, Brewers (3-6, 3.77 ERA, 30-34 saves, 46 K, 45.1 IP)
    17. Heath Bell, Padres (6-6, 3.58 ERA, 0-7 saves, 71 K, 78 IP)
    18. Brian Wilson, Giants (3-2, 4.62 ERA, 41-47 saves, 67 K, 62.1 IP)
    19. Joey Devine, A's (6-1, 0.59 ERA, 1-2 saves, 49 K, 45.2 IP)
    20. Joel Hanrahan, Nationals (6-3, 3.95 ERA, 9-13 saves, 93 K, 84.1 IP)
    21. Frank Francisco, Rangers (3-5, 3.13 ERA, 5-11 saves, 83 K, 63.1 IP)
    22. Huston Street, Rockies (7-5, 3.73 ERA, 18-25 saves, 69 K, 70 IP)
    23. Chris Perez, Cardinals (3-3, 3.46 ERA, 7-11 saves, 42 K, 41.2 IP)
    24. George Sherrill, Orioles (3-5, 4.73 ERA, 31-37 saves, 58 K, 53.1 IP)
    25. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks (4-8, 2.81 ERA, 4-8 saves, 71 K, 73.2 IP)
    26. Mike Gonzalez, Braves (0-3, 4.28 ERA, 14-16 saves, 44 K, 33.2 IP)
    27. Troy Percival, Rays (2-1, 4.53 ERA, 28-32 saves, 38 K, 45.2 IP)
    28. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins (3-4, 3.09 ERA, 5-6 saves, 43 K, 57.1 IP)
    29. Brandon Lyon, Tigers (3-5, 4.70 ERA, 26-31 saves, 44 K, 59.1 IP)
    30. Brad Ziegler, A's (3-0, 1.06 ERA, 11-13 saves, 30 K, 59.2 IP)

    Short hops

    Nathan has registered at least 36 saves for five consecutive seasons. ... The seemingly indestructible Rivera, who had offseason shoulder surgery, allowed only 41 hits in 70 2/3 innings in 2008. ... Before you draft the electric Marmol as your top closer, make sure he's beaten out Kevin Gregg, who saved a combined 61 games in 2007 and 2008 with the Marlins. ... The Dodgers' closing role is all Broxton's. He has struck out 306 batters in 241 innings in his career. ... Fuentes takes over for the record-setting Rodriguez with the Angels. Fuentes had 30 or more saves three times in the last four seasons with the Rockies. ... Valverde isn't a great WHIP or ERA asset, but he's saved 91 games and has 161 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings the last two seasons. ... The Pirates' Capps isn’t a big help in the K department. ... Street, who had 37 saves for the A's in 2006, is the favorite to close games in Colorado. ... The Braves' Gonzalez, who has blown only two of his last 42 save opportunities, would be ranked higher if he could stay healthy. ... Perez, Ryan Franklin and Jason Motte all are candidates to finish games in St. Louis. ... Two names to remember: Mark Lowe, who might be the Mariners' closer by default, and Manny Corpas (19 saves in 2007), Street's competition with the Rockies.

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