Closing out games is an issue the Chicago Cubs need to fix going into their 2023 season.
While last season saw the team having a tough time maintaining leads, this season can be different.
They spent some money to improve their defensive alignment, which should help the pitching rotation.
However, the team still needs a closer to help the Cubs keep the leads they are expecting to have in 2023.
But who can the team look to as their closing pitcher in 2023?
Fans have been hoping the team gets one of the free agent closers that were left on the market.
While there is talent still on the market, the Cubs might already have their closer in the bullpen.
This pitcher who might work well as a closer is Adbert Alzolay.
However, fans might disagree based on his career numbers as a pitcher.
While his overall numbers aren’t great, his numbers as a reliever tell a different story.
Alzolay began as a starting pitcher for the Cubs in 2019, something which didn’t work out well.
However, when the Cubs put him in the bullpen in 2021, he was a star.
Adbert Alzolay was an effective weapon out of the Cubs bullpen last season: pic.twitter.com/yq3vPOSTfx
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) September 21, 2022
In eight games as a reliever in 2021, he held a 1.40 ERA over 19.1 innings.
In 2022, his six appearances saw him pitching 13.1 innings while having a 3.38 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
While the ERA wasn’t good, his WHIP was impressive.
Another impressive stat is how he held opponents to a .184 batting average in 2022.
However, he needs to stop allowing the home run ball.
With 60% of his ERA from 2022 coming from runs scored on home runs, it’s his only downfall.
If he fixes this, he can be a great closer in 2023.