Closing Time 4/2: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2024 season

We are just FIVE days into the MLB season and we have already had blown saves and/or losses from Ryan Helsley, Tanner Scott, Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel, David Bednar, Alexis Díaz, José Alvarado, Adbert Alzolay, José Leclerc, Kyle Finnegan, and Will Smith as well as some shaky outings from Clay Holmes, Camilo Doval, Alex Lange and Mason Miller. That is half of this list. It feels like we have gotten off to a rockier start than last year, as this doesn’t even mention the setup guys who have struggled already. The good news is, it has only been five days, so we mustn’t panic.




  • Last night was a reminder of how Scott Servais likes to deploy his “closer”. Andrés Muñoz worked the 8th inning against the Guardians’ 3-4-5 hitters and picked up a hold after allowing a solo home run to Josh Naylor. Ryne Stanek ended up coming in for the 9th in a one-run game and converting the save for his first of the season. Servais has been doing this going back to the days of Paul Sewald as closer, and while it can be annoying on a night-to-night basis, I don’t think it changes Muñoz’s value all that much as we expected this to happen. We actually saw similar closer usage over the first couple of days of the season from other teams as well, so that’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
  • Tanner Scott is still having a hard time commanding his fastball, and while he clearly needs to make some sort of mechanical adjustment to get this right (as does the entire Marlins bullpen it seems) the plus stuff is still evident. I know Scott has had major control problems in the past, but I want to believe the changes he made last year to fix those issues can stick around. His stuff is good enough that as long as he stays around the zone he should be fine.


  • Robert Suarez is off to a great start and it looks like he will have the closer role to himself with Yuki Matsui in a high leverage fireman type role. How fitting that the Padres closer is a fastball/changeup artist (although Suarez throws about 13 MPH harder than Hoffman ever did)
  • Adbert Alzolay had a rough first outing but the positives here are his usage as he has consistently worked the ninth inning, this after Craig Counsell refused to name a closer. I don’t think Héctor Neris should be much of a threat, so I’d be optimistic if I took a chance on Alzolay on draft day.


  • Jason Foley has appeared as the Tigers’ closer in three games so far, and yeah, I suppose it makes sense, especially considering how bad Alex Lange looked in his one outing so far. Foley has upped his velo, sitting at 99 MPH with his sinker and touching 101, and there are definitely some similarities here to Jordan Hicks when he was a reliever. I still don’t expect a huge uptick in strikeouts, but the saves and ratio help make him worth rostering wherever available still.
  • Abner Uribe has also appeared as the Brewers’ top ninth-inning option so far, making him the preferred option to roster at the moment. I still think Trevor Megill long-term could be a better option, but Uribe has looked good so far (no walks!), so he too should be rostered wherever he’s still available.


  • It remains to be seen who will be closing out games for the White Sox should a save chance arise, but I think Michael Kopech has set himself apart from the other relievers here as he’s back to being at 97 MPH with his fastball and has four strikeouts over his first 2.2 IP. Making him the closer would make a ton of sense, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.
  • Yimi García is most likely just a placeholder until Jordan Romano returns in a week (hopefully). With all the other injuries, Romano likely slots into a top 10-12 spot on this list when healthy.



And if you want more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series

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Rank Pitcher Change
1Edwin DíazT1-
2Pete Fairbanks
3Emmanuel Clase+2
4Ryan Helsley-1
5Josh Hader+1
6Evan Phillips
7Raisel Iglesias+2
8Camilo Doval+2
9Andrés Muñoz-1
10Tanner Scott
11David Bednar-
12Craig Kimbrel-
13Clay Holmes+2
14José Alvarado+3
15Robert Suarez
16Alexis Díaz-
17Adbert Alzolay+6
18José Leclerc-
19Kenley Jansen+2
20Mason Miller
21Kevin Ginkel+4
22Jason Foley+22
23Abner Uribe+12
24Griffin Jax+2
25Michael Kopech+UR
26Kyle Finnegan
27Carlos Estévez+9
28Yimi García+10
29Will Smith+UR
30Justin Lawrence+UR

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

4 responses to “Closing Time 4/2: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. CJ Davis says:

    Is Kenley’s health enough to knock him down to 19th on this list? I mean this is a guy who had 29 saves in 33 changes last year with a 3.63 ERA. He had 9 bad innings all season in 2023 of the 44.1 he threw ( We can agree that the Septmeber Red Sox didnt really count so we can call it 7 innings).

    I would think there would be more trust in him over someone like Clay Holmes who has looked Shakey at best to this point, I mean they were inches away from him blowing a save in game 1 of the season. I know it is still very early and I am not going to get bent out of shape about this but Holmes does sport a .594 xSLG and has gotten pretty lucky up until this point.

    Just food for thought

  2. Dennis says:

    Are we picking up Leclerc? Seeing him dropped everywhere in leagues and not much else out there to pick from.

  3. StatiX says:

    You’re in luck. He’s 18 on this list. If whomever you drop is ranked lower than that, then yes we are.

  4. Aaron says:

    Why do people keep saying it’s Yimi in Toronto? The usage patterns point to Chad Greene, not him

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