Ranking 5 internal candidates to replace Adbert Alzolay as the Cubs closer

With four blown saves in less than a month, a change is needed in the ninth-inning duties
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs - Game One
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs - Game One / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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One day after failing to preserve what should have been a Chicago Cubs win in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Miami Marlins, Adbert Alzolay entered not in the ninth, as has been the case for the first three weeks, but in the eighth. He tossed a clean inning and that was that.

The problem is that clean innings haven't been a common occurrence for Alzolay in 2024, with four blown saves in the season's first month, prompting first-year Cubs manager Craig Counsell to remove him from the closer's role, at least for the time being.

“The title of closer is not an actual job,” Counsell said on Sunday. “It’s just to get three outs, generally, or to get four outs or to get the last outs of the game. In the long run, if we have to do that in a different way, we’ll do it in a different way. If we can get Adbert back to it, that would be great, too.”

So, if not Alzolay, who will get the ball in the ninth? An official replacement hasn't been named and maybe Counsell really will take it day-by-day. But there's a good chance someone settles into the role, at least on an interim basis. Let's take a look at 5 internal candidates - and rank them from least to most likely.

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