Closing Time 7/4: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2023 season.

The White Sox were hoping to be able to turn to Kendall Graveman as their closer with Liam Hendriks on the IL, but that has not worked out as planned as Graveman has struggled since Hendriks has been out. In fact, he has zero saves over his past nine appearances, while also allowing five earned runs (two home runs), and five walks.

The good news is Hendriks is throwing again and could return shortly after the All-Star break. The question remains, however, will he be on the move at the deadline and who may be the White Sox closer from August onward if he is traded?

I think the best bet remains Graveman, as it’s possible the White Sox deal half their bullpen as Joe Kelly, like Hendriks, only has a team option for next season while Keynan Middleton and Reynaldo López will be free agents after this season.




  • It took Devin Williams over two months to reach the ten-save mark this season, but he’s been hot as of late, with eight saves over his past two-plus weeks, not allowing a run over that nine-inning stretch. However, that stretch does come with a gross 11.4% K-BB rate (thanks to a 17.1% BB rate) and 4.13 xFIP. That walk rate is bound to start hurting Williams eventually, especially if he’s unable to keep his K rate above 30%.
  • Pete Fairbanks still seems like a shell of his former self, but I guess we shouldn’t argue with the results for now as there’s always the possibility he can return to form after the All-Star break again. Similar to Williams, Fairbanks is struggling mightily in the walk department lately, with an 11.8% K-BB rate since returning from the IL in June. It feels weird moving him up the ranks under these circumstances, but given the names below him in this tier and the fact he is locked in as the Rays’ sole closer, I’ll take a chance on Fairbanks’ upside.


  • Evan Phillips has been on a tear lately, and after going almost 40 days without a save, now has five over the past two weeks. Over this 6.1-inning stretch, Phillips has not allowed a run while striking out 6 and walking none. If Phillips is able to keep this momentum and hold onto the closer role for himself through the All-Star break, there’s a chance I move him back into the top 15 next week.
  • Hunter Harvey continues to rack up saves for the Nationals, now with three over the past week and five over the past two weeks (tied for the league lead). He hasn’t allowed a run in that span while striking out six over 6.1 innings. Harvey moves up over a few committee members as the Nationals aren’t too far off from those closers’ respective teams in the standings, and at least Harvey has the closer role to himself for the foreseeable future.


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

Watch List


Rank Pitcher Change
1Félix BautistaT1-
2Emmanuel Clase-
3Devin Williams+2
4Josh Hader-1
5Alexis Díaz-1
6David Bednar-
7Ryan Pressly+1
8Jhoan Duran-1
9Camilo Doval-
10Jordan Romano-
11Paul Sewald
12Craig Kimbrel-
13A.J. Puk-
14Raisel Iglesias-
15Pete Fairbanks+5
16Carlos Estévez-1
17Will Smith-1
18Scott Barlow-1
19Alex Lange-1
20Kenley Jansen-1
21Clay Holmes
22Evan Phillips+3
23Scott McGough-1
24Hunter Harvey+3
25Adbert Alzolay-2
26David Robertson-2
27Jordan Hicks-1
28Justin Lawrence
29Trevor May+1
30Kendall Graveman-2

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.

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