|1.||Ryan Pressly||Houston Astros|
|2.||Andrew Miller||St. Louis Cardinals|
|3.||Seranthony Dominguez||Philadelphia Phillies|
|4.||Jeurys Familia||New York Mets|
|5.||Joe Jimenez||Detroit Tigers|
|6.||Taylor Rogers||Minnesota Twins|
|7.||Keone Kela||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|8.||Adam Ottavino||New York Yankees|
|9.||Ryan Brasier||Boston Red Sox|
|10.||Dellin Betances||New York Yankees|
|11.||AJ Minter||Atlanta Braves|
|12.||Joakim Soria||Oakland Athletics|
|13.||Trevor Rosenthal||Washington Nationals|
|14.||Diego Castillo||Tampa Bay Rays|
|15.||Ty Buttrey||Los Angeles Angels|
|16.||Archie Bradley||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|17.||Craig Stammen||San Diego Padres|
|18.||Jeremy Jeffress||Milwaukee Brewers|
|19.||Jace Fry||Chicago White Sox|
|20.||Tony Watson||San Francisco Giants|
|21.||Carl Edwards Jr.||Chicago Cubs|
|22.||Adam Conley||Miami Marlins|
|23.||Richard Rodriguez||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|24.||Seung-Hwan Oh||Colorado Rockies|
|25.||Hector Rondon||Houston Astros|
|26.||Kelvin Herrera||Chicago White Sox|
|27.||Blake Parker||Minnesota Twins|
|28.||Drew Steckenrider||Miami Marlins|
|29.||Zack Britton||New York Yankees|
|30.||Hector Neris||Philadelphia Phillies|
|31.||Chad Green||New York Yankees|
|32.||Reyes Moronta||San Francisco Giants|
|33.||Chris Devenski||Houston Astros|
|34.||Scott Oberg||Colorado Rockies|
|35.||Lou Trivino||Oakland Athletics|
|36.||David Hernandez||Cincinnati Reds|
|37.||Yoshihisa Hirano||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|38.||Oliver Perez||Cleveland Indians|
|39.||Will Harris||Houston Astros|
|40.||Seth Lugo||New York Mets|
|41.||Pedro Baez||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|42.||Chaz Roe||Tampa Bay Rays|
|43.||Amir Garrett||Cincinnati Reds|
|44.||Justin Anderson||Los Angeles Angels|
|45.||Jared Hughes||Cincinnati Reds|
|46.||Joe Kelly||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|47.||Jesse Chavez||Texas Rangers|
|48.||Kyle Crick||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|49.||Steve Cishek||Chicago Cubs|
|50.||Ryne Stanek||Tampa Bay Rays|
|51.||Dominic Leone||St. Louis Cardinals|
|52.||Phil Maton||San Diego Padres|
|53.||Juan Nicasio||Philadelphia Phillies|
|54.||Brad Brach||Chicago Cubs|
|55.||Bud Norris||Toronto Blue Jays|
|56.||Tyler Olson||Cleveland Indians|
|57.||Ryan Buchter||Oakland Athletics|
|58.||Sam Dyson||San Francisco Giants|
|59.||Chad Sobotka||Atlanta Braves|
|60.||John Brebbia||St. Louis Cardinals|
|61.||Trevor Hildenberger||Minnesotta Twins|
|62.||Nate Jones||Chicago White Sox|
|63.||Pat Neshek||Philadelphia Phillies|
|64.||Fernando Rodney||Oakland Athletics|
|65.||Kyle Barraclough||Washington Nationals|
|66.||Tayron Guerrero||Miami Marlins|
|67.||Robert Gsellman||New York Mets|
|68.||Alex Reyes||St. Louis Cardinals|
|69.||Josh James||Houston Astros|
|70.||Jacob Barnes||Milwaukee Brewers|
|71.||Shawn Kelley||Texas Rangers|
|72.||Neil Ramirez||Cleveland Indians|
|73.||Tyler Thornburg||Boston Red Sox|
|74.||Corey Gearrin||Seattle Mariners|
|75.||Hansel Robles||Los Angeles Angels|
|76.||Trey Wingenter||San Diego Padres|
|77,||Justin Miller||Washington Nationals|
|78.||Jon Edwards||Cleveland Indians|
|79.||Andrew Chafin||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|80.||Matt Festa||Seattle Mariners|
|81.||Cam Bedrosian||Los Angeles Angels|
|82.||Adam Cimber||Cleveland Indians|
|83.||Tim Mayza||Toronto Blue Jays|
|84.||Dylan Floro||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|85.||Robert Stock||San Diego Padres|
|86.||Jake Diekman||Kansas City Royals|
|87.||Heath Hembree||Boston Red Sox|
|88.||Yoan Lopez||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|89.||Nick Vincent||San Francisco Giants|
|90.||Jose Castillo||San Diego Padres|
It’s one of the most exciting times of the year: Real baseball finally arrives today! With the start of the season comes a lot of uncertainty, specifically when it comes to bullpen usage around the league. Some teams are more transparent than others, but others won’t tip their hand until the games actually mean something. These reliever lists will be fairly volatile for the first month or so—until situations become more clear. For now, these are the top 90 names that I feel could contribute in holds leagues early on in the season, with the back half being one big glob of question marks.
- Tier 1 would run roughly between Ryan Pressly (#1) and Joakim Soria (#12). These are the guys who are locked into high-leverage roles and we can expect them to keep ratios low while racking up holds. Dellin Betances and A.J. Minter will start the year on the IL, but both should be back within the first week or two of April.
- Tier 2 goes from Trevor Rosenthal (#13) to Hector Neris (#30) and features the rest of the potential set up options with upside. Rosenthal looks healthy and ready to dominate the eighth inning for the Washington Nationals, but there’s still some injury risk involved owning him. Jeremy Jeffress has a chance to return by the end of April and barring any significant changes to the Milwaukee Brewers roster, he should return to a setup or possibly even closer role. While the Miami Marlins offense may be anemic this year, they have some intriguing arms in the rotation and bullpen, with Adam Conley a potential multi-inning stud late in games.
- Tier 3 runs from Chad Green (#31) to Steve Cishek (#49) represents relievers who can help fantasy teams right away, but have some limitations or concerns. Just like every year, Green’s upside is unfortunately capped because of how he is used. Lou Trivino looked filthy in the Japan series, so here’s to hoping the first half of 2018 (1.22 ERA) was the real Trivino and not the second half (5.46 ERA).
- The final tier, tier 4, runs from Ryne Stanek (#51) to super deep league stash candidate Jose Castillo (#90). This tier encompasses the rest of the relievers who are just as likely to shoot to the top of the list as they are to be off the list in a few weeks time. There are a few San Diego Padres in this bunch, all of whom carry some nice upside if they can secure a secondary set up role. Alex Reyes and Josh James both have bullpen roles, but both are expected to get a chance in the rotation at some point this season. However, if they go the other way and begin working in more high leverage situations, they will fly up the board.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)
Kyle Zimmer a candidate for the last group? Shouldn’t take him long to win a late innings role should it?
Yea I can see him move up eventually. He’s certainly more talented than the rest of that bullpen.
No concern about Andrew Miller’s spring? He was atrocious
It’s 5 innings of spring training, where he’s struggled in the past, so no reason to be concerned yet.
I’m sure you read the articles that it looks like Cora is leaning toward a committee approach for closing out games and won’t name a closer. I would say Barnes and then Brasier would be the preferred options. Barnes is my 3rd closer in a very shallow league. Even splitting duties with Brasier I see him getting 15-20 saves instead of the 40+ Kimbrel would get as the sole closer. Barnes with 15-20 saves and high K% would still be better than Colome who is available and the full-time closer for ChiSox (for now) for counting stats. Do you agree?
I agree with this. If Barnes struggles early, go ahead and make a change.
So you’re thinking Diego Castillo either gets a good amount of late inning chances as well as opening for the Rays?
Also, Joe Kelly seems awfully low considering the Dodgers paid him pretty well in free agency.
Thanks for the article. Always love these one on some of the more under the radar guys
It looks like Castillo is lined up to pitch in front of Alvarado for the most part. Hopefully that sticks.
I just don’t trust Joe Kelly yet despite the great playoff performance. Elite stuff yet he always puts up very mediocre numbers but hopefully, he can turn it around in LA.
Any reason for being (relatively) down on Chaz Roe? I really like his stuff and he was right up there in holds last year. Is it a talent thing, or opportunity?
Also just a heads up that this article isn’t appearing in the “Hold Up” section of the site, so I missed it initially! Looks like it’s only tagged with “Rankings”.
Same issue with today’s SV+HD article.