Closing Time 5/9: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2023 season.

Evan Phillips has picked up where he left off last season, and it’s great to see Dave Roberts hand over the closer reigns to him despite being reluctant to do so at the beginning of the season. Over his past five outings (since returning from paternity leave), Phillips has allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out 8 and tacking on 3 saves to bring him up to 5 on the year. Brusdar Graterol continues to work in a setup role, which is best suited for him giving his low Whiff/K rates.




  • Raisel Iglesias returned this past weekend and was thrown right into a save situation. Iglesias looked great in the outing, throwing 10 of 13 pitches for strikes and striking out two, showing no ill effects from his time off. While Iglesias should be rostered in all leagues, I think it’s safe to drop A.J. Minter in 12-14 team mixed save only formats.
  • With Pete Fairbanks now on the shelf, Jason Adam has taken over as the Rays closer, and already has 4 saves this month. Fairbanks stay is expected to be a minimum one, but this being the Rays, there’s no assurance Fairbanks gets that closer role back, especially with how Adams has looked in May.


  • It’s clear that the Mets don’t view David Robertson as their closer, and rather their top high leverage option. That’s ok, but it will ultimately limit his value in save only formats. He and Adam Ottavino each picked up a save this past week, a trend that we should expect to continue moving forward.
  • It’s been a rough week for Marlins closer A.J. Puk, and while he certainly has his defense to blame for some of it, there had been some warning signs leading up to the meltdowns. I still like Puk the most in this bullpen (Huascar Brazoban is intriguing though)


  • Clay Holmes appears to be out as the Yankees closer and while I think I’d hold on to him in deeper holds leagues, Michael King should be the reliever rostered in most leagues now. He’s still not pitching on back to back days (leading to an Ian Hamilton save this weekend) but King has gotten over his slow start and looks like the reliever he was last season once again with just one hit and two walks allowed over his past 6.2 IP, while striking out 9.
  • Andrew Chafin had a rough outing Saturday, failing to secure a save after the Diamondbacks came from behind in the ninth. Despite the 4.26 ERA, Chafin has only allowed runs in 2 of his 16 appearances this season and should continue to see save chances. However, the team did turn to Miguel Castro for a save chance on Sunday (which didn’t go so well) and turned to Joe Mantiply to finish last nights game. We may be headed back to a strict committee here, but I still like Chafin and his strikeout upside the most.


  • Four Cubs relievers have now picked up saves on the season, with only Brad Boxberger adding a second save. But Boxberger shouldn’t be in the late innings mix here, and we may finally have some sort of semblance of roles here with Adbert Alzolay and Mark Leiter Jr. (who both earned saves this past week) in a co-closer matchup based situation, while Michael Fulmer sticks in a setup role.
  • Reynaldo López returned this weekend and picked up a save, somewhat surprisingly considering how poorly he has has pitched and how strong Keynan Middleton has looked (even converting a save chance himself last week). It’s not really important, as Liam Hendriks has started his rehab stint and should return by the end of the month.


  • Pierce Johnson continues to function as the Rockies’ full time closer, and based on usage, it doesn’t seem like Daniel Bard will be returning to that role anytime soon. For now, it’s just a situation to steer clear of completely, as Bard’s velocity is still down almost 4 MPH and Johnson’s fastball still remains a liability.
  • Just when Kyle Finnegan started to earn some trust, he has another epic meltdown and we are at the point where the only potential closer here I’d be comfortable rostering is Hunter Harvey.


EDIT 5/10: José Alvarado has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to inflammation in his left elbow and was removed from the list. Expect a committee between Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Domínguez and Gregory Soto.


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

Watch List


Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Félix Bautista-
3Josh Hader-
4David Bednar-
5Emmanuel Clase-
6Jordan Romano-
7Raisel Iglesias+UR
8Alexis Díaz
9Paul Sewald-
10Evan Phillips+6
11Jhoan Duran-1
12Kenley Jansen
13Ryan Pressly-1
14Ryan Helsley-1
15Camilo Doval+4
16Jason Adam+4
17David Robertson-3
18Alex Lange
19A.J. Puk-4
20Carlos Estévez+2
21Scott Barlow+2
22Michael King
23Andrew Chafin-6
24Adbert Alzolay+UR
25Craig Kimbrel+UR
26Reynaldo López+UR
27Will Smith
28Pierce Johnson+UR
29Kyle Finnegan-5
30Zach Jackson-

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.

One response to “Closing Time 5/9: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Mr. Pricklepants says:

    Where would Hendriks slot into your rankings upon his return?

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