The highly skilled role of closer on a Major League Baseball team has certainly evolved over the years. While the 1960s and 1970s featured relievers capable of throwing multiple innings in order to seal the victory for their teams, today's closer is essentially just a ninth-inning specialist, with few exceptions.
When managers make the call to the bullpen in the late innings, they're expecting their closer to shut down the opposition. In 2012, struggles by several established closers forced managers to make changes.
In some cases, injuries played a large part in the reshuffling of the back end of the bullpen as well.
As a result, we've seen some new names featured in box scores designated with an "S", while other names have been familiar sights in those same box scores for several years.
Here is our list of the top-25 performers from the closer's position thus far in 2012.