If you pay up for a closer, you expect stability. That's the whole reason for the investment. There are saves to be found later in the draft, after all. You just can't be as sure where they're coming from.

So when a sure thing at closer runs into trouble, it's especially aggravating. What was the point even? You could have had a stud bat instead -- and boy, could everyone use another stud bat right now.

That aggravation is all too real for those who invested in these five closers, each of whom figured to be a lock for 30-plus saves. They may still get there, but their claim to the role has been diminished. For each, I explain what's happening, what I think will happen next, and who would benefit in the event of a change. I also gauge concern level and startability using this fun baseball icon ⚾, with ⚾ representing the least and ⚾⚾⚾⚾ representing the most.

Edwin Diaz
NYM • RP • #39
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Concern level:
Startability: ⚾⚾
Waiting in the wings: Reed Garrett
The gold standard among closers for the better part of a decade, Edwin Diaz has been surprisingly hittable after a season lost to knee surgery, and with three blown saves in his past six appearances, he's now in what manager Carlos Mendoza calls a "fluid" situation. "Now it's up to me and all of us, as the game progresses and things unfold, to make that decision where I want to use him," Mendoza said Sunday. "But he's willing to do whatever it takes." Later that day, Mendoza had Reed Garrett work the final two innings for a save, and Garrett has the look of a closer himself with a 0.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 14.8 K/9.

Still ... this is Edwin Diaz we're talking about. He's getting paid the big bucks and has the track record to back it up. While his fastball is down 3 mph from his last healthy season, it's down more like 1 mph from the bulk his career. My guess is that Mendoza puts him in low-leverage situations for a week or two, just so he gets his feet back under him, and then this whole episode is quickly forgotten. It may not even take that long, frankly.

Jhoan Duran
MIN • RP • #59
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Concern level: ⚾⚾⚾
Startability: ⚾⚾
Waiting in the wings: Griffin Jax
The issue for Jhoan Duran is less him losing his grip on the closer role than not having it in the first place. In nine appearances since returning from an oblique injury, he's handled the eighth inning four times and the ninth inning five times. He has picked up three saves along the way, but Cole Sands, Caleb Thielbar and Griffin Jax have each gotten one as well. It's hard to see that arrangement changing after Duran served up a home run that cost the Twins the game in back-to-back appearances over the weekend. Duran's velocity is down slightly from a year ago, and concerns have been raised over his pitch selection. If manager Rocco Baldelli were to lean on any one reliever for saves, it would be Duran, but he has also favored a committee approach, with last year being the one exception.

David Bednar
PIT • RP • #51
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Concern level: ⚾⚾
Startability: ⚾⚾⚾
Waiting in the wings: Aroldis Chapman
Unlike most of these relievers, things seem to be trending up for David Bednar overall. He's followed up a disastrous April with a 3.24 ERA so far in May and hasn't actually blown a save since April 9. But he did take a loss over the weekend, allowing a run on two hits, and while his ERA for the month may be solid, his 1.20 WHIP and 6.5 K/9 during that same time are less than closer-caliber. He just seems off, with his curveball in particular not generating whiffs like a year ago. Maybe any progress, however small, is reason to be encouraged given that he missed basically all of spring training with a lat injury. The Pirates have shown the utmost patience. In fact, none of their other relievers has gotten a save since Bednar got his first. It probably helped that Aroldis Chapman was having his own problems, namely with regard to control, but he appears to have settled down enough to be the next in line. Hunter Stratton is another possibility.

Alexis Diaz
CIN • RP • #43
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Concern level: ⚾⚾⚾⚾
Waiting in the wings: Fernando Cruz
Manager David Bell so far hasn't backed down from using Alexis Diaz as his closer, but the results couldn't be uglier. Diaz has allowed eight earned runs in his six appearances this month. Overall, he's blown two saves and taken three losses. His velocity is slightly down, his swinging-strike rate is way down, but the biggest issue is that he's walking everyone in sight, not that control was ever his strength. It's also worth pointing out that he wasn't so great in the second half last season, delivering a 4.61 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and only 8.3 K/9. His saving grace is that no one else in the Reds bullpen looks like a viable alternative. Fernando Cruz did at one point but has been just as shaky in May. A committee would likely be the next step.

Craig Kimbrel
BAL • RP • #46
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Concern level: ⚾⚾
Startability: ⚾⚾⚾⚾
Waiting in the wings: Yennier Cano
Craig Kimbrel is a little further along his redemption arc than these other relievers, having already lost the closer gig but seemingly regained it with his perfect ninth inning Sunday. In fact, he's been nearly perfect since initially being removed from the role, allowing just a hit by pitch while striking out six over four innings. His struggles are a little easier to understand, too, given that we've seen them so many times before. He'll lose all sense of command for a couple weeks, get crushed, and then go right back to dominating. It doesn't mean it'll always be so, and I'm a little wary of giving up Yennier Cano in deeper Rotisserie leagues. But it does seem like manager Brandon Hyde is willing to give Kimbrel another shot. It's seemed that way for a while, actually, when you consider that Cano's last three appearances have come prior to the ninth inning.