Jose Leclerc looks like Texas’s playoff closer

September 28, 2023

Texas Rangers — Aroldis Chapman pitched the eighth with a two-run lead, facing the 8-9-1 hitters in the Angel lineup. Though the Rangers scored three more in the ninth, eliminating the save chance, it was Jose Leclerc who came out for the final inning. We’re going to move Jose to the top of this committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Leclerc | Chapman | Smith.
* = closer-by-committee

Chicago Cubs – It’s not official yet, but Adbert Alzolay believes he’ll be activated from the injured list on Friday. He should immediately return to the closer role, especially after Wednesday’s loss, which included blown saves by Mark Leiter Jr., Julian Merryweather, and Daniel Palencia.

Hierarchy remains: *Merryweather | Cuas | Leiter Jr.
* = closer-by-committee

Philadelphia Phillies — The day after Jose Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel pitched to a blown save, Philly turned to Gregory Soto in the ninth (after using Seranthony Dominguez in the fifth and sixth). Soto struck out the side and can be safely returned to the hierarchy for the final few games.

Updated hierarchy: *Kimbrel | Alvarado | Soto.
* = closer-by-committee

Minnesota Twins — Jhoan Duran was used in the seventh inning of a tight game (and struck out the side), so Dallas Keuchel got the eighth and ninth for Minnesota. Griffin Jax relieved him with one out to go and picked up a very vulturey save. In other news, Brock Stewart returned after a few months on the injured list and could return to high-leverage work just in time for the playoffs.

Hierarchy remains: Duran | Jax | Pagan.

San Diego Padres — The Padres’ big three all did their jobs to keep the game tied, and in the tenth inning, it was lefty Tom Cosgrove who earned his first career save.

Hierarchy remains: Hader | Suarez | Barlow.

1. Jason Foley (DET) — The Royals and Tigers are playing a game and a half today.
2. Carlos Hernandez/Taylor Clarke (KC) — See above.

1. Ian Hamilton (NYY) — An appearance today would be three in four days for Clay Holmes.