Raisel Iglesias Is Emerging As An Elite Closer

Cincinnati Reds' Raisel Iglesias throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 14, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Closer A: 63.1 IP/ 24/25 Save Opportunities/ 80 K/ 24 BB/ 1.85 ERA/ 1.08 WHIP

Closer B: 43.2 IP/ 26/26 Save Opportunities/ 58 K/ 24 BB/ 2.27 ERA/ 1.19 WHIP

If you were a General Manger for a contender, which closer would you rather have?

Closer A is Raisel Iglesias, closer for the Cincinnati Reds. His team currently sits 5th in the National League Central with a record of 54-74.

Closer B is Wade Davis, closer for the Chicago Cubs. His team currently sits 1st in the National League Central with a record of 68-58.

To a casual baseball fan, those numbers may be a bit of a surprise. But to Reds fans, they are only a confirmation of what has been an incredible year for the Cuban flamethrower.

Iglesias has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful Reds pitching staff. The 27 year old is excelling in his new role in the Reds bullpen. In his first full season as the closer, Iglesias has converted 24 of his 25 save opportunities, posting a very impressive 1.85 ERA. He has a nearly 4 to 1 K/BB ratio, striking out 80 and walking only 24.

Iglesias has shown that he is not just a one inning closer, as he has totaled 63.1 IP in 53 games. Stamina not being an issue, Reds manager Bryan Price is not afraid to use Iglesias for a 6 out save, or work him 3 days in a row.

Iglesias is a revelation at the closer position. A former starter, Iglesias was moved to the bullpen due to multiple shoulder injuries. The Reds had struggled to fill the void at the closer position after the trade of Aroldis Chapman. Guys such as JJ Hoover and Tony Cingrani failed to turn into quality closers, and the Reds desperately needed someone to step up.

The comparisons to the aforementioned Chapman do not stop there for Iglesias. Both flamethrowers were signed out of Cuba as international free agents by the Reds. The organization had planned to make both of them starters, but due to lack of efficiency at the end of games, both were placed into the closer role.

Iglesias has made a flawless transition into the closer’s role. The Opening Day starter for the Reds in 2016, Iglesias has shown versatility for the Reds. Now, it appears, the Reds have found a slot for the right hander, and he shows absolutely no signs of relinquishing it.