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

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2023 season.

The Rangers’ closing situation (and bullpen in general) has become a mess lately, with the wheels completely falling off for Aroldis Chapman and Josh Sborz. José Leclerc’s luck may be running out, and while Will Smith had a disastrous August, he has been better over his last five outings … so perhaps we are back to Smith as the preferred closer at the moment?

It’s just a very messy situation at the moment and it makes it hard to recommend any one of these options. The highest upside (Chapman) has been the worst recently, while Leclerc has been very lucky for much of the second half and Smith has just been flat-out not good in the second half.

I guess I would still rank them Smith, Chapman, and Leclerc, but I don’t have much confidence in any of the three so only roster if desperate for saves.




  • Carlos Estévez has been pitching much better as of late, and now that Reynaldo López and Matt Moore are out of the picture, it appears his job should be safe for the remainder of the season. Estevez has now gone five straight outings without allowing a run, giving up just two hits while walking none and striking out six.
  • The closer picture is getting murkier in Philadelphia as it looks like may be back to a committee between Craig Kimbrel and José Alvarado. Alvarado worked the 8th inning and Kimbrel the 9th inning on Sunday, but manager Rob Thomson decided to flip the two yesterday, with Alvarado earning his first save since June 14th and Kimbrel just his second hold since April 19th. Moving forward, I’d still expect more Kimbrel save chances than Alvarado, but both should probably be rostered at this point.


  • With JoJo Romero landing on the IL, I’d expect Giovanny Gallegos to see the bulk of save chances as Ryan Helsley is still pitching on a schedule and won’t be available most days. Gallegos has had his fair share of issues in the ninth inning this season but was able to work a clean ninth Sunday against the Pirates for his 10th save of the season, giving him at least 10 saves over in each of the past three seasons.
  • The closer situation in Detroit seems to be leaning more in Alex Lange’s favor, as he was able to secure two saves this week while Jason Foley’s last save came on August 19th. Lange now has four saves since Foley’s last, and I’d imagine as long as Lange isn’t completely terrible, he finishes the season as the team’s closer. Walks are still an issue, but outside of his outing against the Yankees on Thursday, he has allowed just 3 earned runs since the All-Star break.



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

Watch List


Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Pete Fairbanks-
3Raisel Iglesias-
4Josh Hader-
5Ryan Pressly-
6Jhoan Duran-
7Adbert Alzolay-
8Paul Sewald-
9Emmanuel Clase-
10Evan Phillips-
11Camilo Doval-
12Kenley Jansen-
13Andrés Muñoz-
14Tanner Scott-
15Jordan Romano+1
16David Bednar+1
17Alexis Díaz+1
18Clay Holmes+1
19Carlos Estévez+5
20Yennier Cano+2
21Craig Kimbrel
22Giovanny Gallegos+UR
23Kyle Finnegan-2
24Carlos Hernández-1
25Gregory Santos-
26Alex Lange+UR
27Will Smith+UR
28Trevor May+1
29Adam Ottavino-1
30Tyler Kinley+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.

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