3 pitchers who will compete to be the Chicago Cubs closer

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Adbert Alzolay
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

3. Adbert Alzolay

Adbert Alzolay is probably the most likely candidate to be the next closer on the North Side. Although Alzolay was named the fifth starter back in 2021, the current abundance of starting pitching options the Cubs currently have will force him into the bullpen. And that is a good thing. Alzolay's numbers as a starter in 2021 were not great, with an inflated 4.58 ERA and 25 Home Runs given up. A lat injury sidelined him for most of the 2022 campaign, but he returned in September and made six appearances out of the pen.

A fresh start and a full spring training should prove to be fortuitous for the 27-year-old righty. With an average fastball velocity in the mid-90s and an absolutely devastating slider, Alzolay has the weapons to be an effective closer. In fact, he has been historically better in relief (2.32 ERA) than as a starter (5.19 ERA), even though the sample sizes are small. There is also no need for Alzolay to be a starter or even a multi-inning swingman with guys like Keegan Thompson and Adrian Sampson in the bullpen. Not to mention more starting depth in the form of Javier Assad and Caleb Killian.