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The Hold Up 4/14: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2022 season.

Welcome back to another edition of the Hold Up and I am once again asking for you all to not panic when it comes to early season results with elite relievers. So yes, Devin Williams will be just fine people, and what we may be seeing is that he is just a notoriously slow starter as he struggled to begin 2021 as well. The velocity being down is only a minor concern as Williams had a late start this year and it’s showing as his command has been rusty off the bat. Just be patient for now, and with someone with Williams upside, you have to at least wait until the end of May before making any sort of decision (in Holds leagues that is). Those who waited it out last year, it paid off for them as Williams was arguably the best reliever from June through August.

 

Notes

 

  • With injuries to JT Chargois, Pete Fairbanks and Nick Anderson, J.P. Feyereisen has shot up the depth chart in Tampa and along with Matt Wisler, should see plenty of high leverage work for the team. While he was great in Milwaukee to start the 2021 season, he was fairly inconsistent with the Rays, and appeared to be one of the more effected relievers after the sticky stuff crackdown. Walks were an issue for him last year (14% BB rate and just a 7% K-BB% rate with the Rays) but the Rays do have a way with getting the best out of their bullpen so I’d expect Feyereisen to improve on last years numbers.
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  • Trevor May is dealing with a triceps strain, and while it is considered “very low grade”, it’s hard not to get concerned whenever a pitcher is dealing with an arm injury. He’s expected to miss an IL stint, but it will be something to monitor moving forward with him.
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  • Brad Boxberger is picking up where he left off last year as one of the Brewers most consistent, reliable late inning options and it looks like he’s velocity gains from last year are here to stay. As I mentioned above, I believe in Devin Williams getting right and while Boxberger doesn’t have the flashy upside of a Jake Cousinshe would pair well on a fantasy roster with more “upside” options.
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  • Mychal Givens has emerged as the Cubs top set up option for the time being, and as I’ve been saying for a few years now, I would love to see this be the breakout year for him as he has underwhelmed in the past considering how good his stuff truly is.
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  • Despite rumors and talk off a closer committee in St. Louis, Giovanny Gallegos looks locked into the role, with Ryan Helsley and Génesis Cabrera in set up roles. Like Givens, there’s a lot of untapped upside with both Cabrera and Helsley (both can touch 99+ MPH) but Helsley’s early season results are certainly encouraging. Again, it’s very early, but right now Helsley’s fastball is sitting 2 MPH higher than it did last year (from 97.4 to 99.4!) which, if that holds, could result in a breakout year as his cutter is already a plus pitch.
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  • Spencer Strider’s debut took baseball Twitter by storm, as it should have as we got a glimpse at how electric the rookie can be as he looks like the potential closer of the future for the Braves (or starter with an improved changeup). However, for this season, I’m not quite sure what type of role he will be in, as for now it looks like it will be a long relief role, similar to Cristian Javier. That doesn’t make either bad options, in fact, there is a lot of value in them working more innings than the typical reliever, but for holds purposes, it’s tough to rank them much higher for the time being.
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  • I didn’t make any bold predictions this year but I feel like making one right now, and that is that Dylan Coleman will be the Royals closer by the end of the year. It’s nothing really against Scott Barlow, I’m still high on him, but I feel like the Royals could move him at the deadline, and at that point, I think Coleman could easily surpass Josh Staumont on the depth chart.
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  • Despite not seeing a save chance since opening day, Tony Santillan still remains in the mix for holds and currently should be considered the second best option in that Reds bullpen. It’s likely he is used similarly to how Tejay Antone was but again, there’s nothing wrong with being a multi inning reliever.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Héctor Neris-
3Diego Castillo-
4Jonathan Loáisiga-
5Blake Treinen-
6Aaron Bummer-
7Will Smith-
8Ryan Tepera
T2
+2
9Chad Green+2
10Kendall Graveman+3
11Garrett Whitlock+3
12Matt Wisler+3
13Daniel Hudson+3
14Brooks Raley+6
15Collin McHugh+2
16Tyler Rogers
T3
+3
17Tim Mayza+4
18Clay Holmes+7
19Phil Maton+7
20Aaron Loup+10
21Seth Lugo+10
22Michael Fulmer+10
23J.P. Feyereisen+18
24Tyler Matzek-2
25Alex Vesia-2
26Jake Cousins+1
27Seranthony Domínguez+7
28Andrés Muñoz+7
29Pierce Johnson+9
30Trevor May-12
31Josh Staumont
T4
+2
32Jake McGee+UR
33Nick Sandlin+6
34Robert Suarez+2
35Brad Boxberger+13
36A.J. Minter+9
37Dinelson Lamet-
38Mychal Givens+26
39Ryan Helsley+46
40Spencer Strider+UR
41Dylan Coleman+28
42Tony Santillan+28
43Cristian Javier+UR
44Emilio Pagán+UR
45José Alvarado+5
46Brusdar Graterol+11
47Cole Sulser-
48Tanner Scott-8
49Génesis Cabrera+4
50Matt Barnes+UR
51Hansel Robles
T5
+UR
52Tyler Duffey-10
53Amir Garrett-10
54Ryne Stanek-5
55Joely Rodríguez-
56Mike Mayers-10
57Richard Bleier+1
58Yimi García+9
59Drew Smith+UR
60Austin Warren-
61Julian Merryweather+1
62A.J. Puk+6
63Anthony Gose-
64Dominic Leone+8
65Drew Steckenrider-
66Brad Hand+UR
67Trevor Richards-8
68Kyle Finnegan+UR
69Miguel Castro+2
70Jeurys Familia+3
71Rowan Wick
T6
-5
72Domingo Acevedo+18
73Sean Doolittle+19
74Matt Strahm+8
75Alex Lange+1
76Jake Brentz-1
77Ryan Brasier-3
78Chris Martin+6
79Adam Ottavino-2
80Alex Colomé-2
81Bryan Shaw-2
82Ian Kennedy-2
83Adam Cimber+UR
84Jarlín García+9
85Chris Stratton-4
86Anthony Misiewicz+14
87Chasen Shreve+UR
88Brett Martin-5
89Hunter Strickland-2
90J.B. Wendelken-2
91Blake Taylor-2
92Dillon Tate+3
93Tim Hill+3
94Caleb Thielbar+4
95Lucas Luetge+4
96Dennis Santana+UR
97Wandy Peralta+UR
98Félix Bautista+UR
99Dauri Moreta-2
100Joe Jiménez-6

 

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

  • BB says:

    Not a fan of Yimi’s skills? He should rack up plenty of holds as top setup guy in that Jays pen (three in three appearances so far).

    • Rick Graham says:

      Yea the usage and role are great, that alone could probably move him up the list. Theres a lack of K upside and his vulnerability to the long ball concern me pitching in the AL East.

  • JR says:

    Would you drop either Warren, Bender or Sewald for Neris in a SV+H league?

  • Mike says:

    In a Sv/Hd league where Neris Graveman, Tepera, Diekman, Loup, Pierce Johnson, Bard, Garcia, and Castillo are all on waivers. League mates all reach on top closers while I go bargain hunting for holds post draft.. when you consider all ratios including holds, who are your top 3 of this group by mid season?

  • Bartonrp says:

    No Holland or Sborz? Not worthy?

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