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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5. Ben Brown has the stuff but is already filling a valuable role

I would love Ben Brown to be the guy slamming the door shut in the ninth but he's proven to be a badly-needed safety net for a Cubs starting rotation that is battling injury and ineffectiveness. Justin Steele threw live BP over the weekend at Wrigley, which is a promising sign as he works his way back from the hamstring injury he sustained on Opening Day, but, for now, the team is missing its ace.

Jameson Taillon just made his 2024 debut - and was brilliant - and his return forced Brown back into the bullpen. But after a fourth-straight ineffective Kyle Hendricks start, the big right-hander could soon find himself back in the rotation if Hendricks runs out of runway trying to sort out his mechanics.

Since getting rocked by the Rangers in his big league debut, Brown has emerged as a stabilizing presence for Counsell, both as a starter and reliever. There's no chance, as things currently stand, that Chicago can pull him from that swingman role and slot him into the ninth inning. The stuff isn't the issue - he's just doing too much good where he is to limit him to closing duties.