The Hold Up 4/19: Ranking the Top 80 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rank Change Pitcher Previous Best Worst
1
T1
+1 Josh Hader 2 1 3
2
-1 Andrew Miller 1 1 2
3
T2
- Archie Bradley 3 3 7
4
- David Robertson 4 2 4
5
+1 Chris Devenski 6 4 6
6
+8 Adam Ottavino 14 6 38
7
+1 Carl Edwards 8 7 8
8
-3 Brad Peacock 5 5 13
9
- A. J. Minter 9 9 9
10
- Addison Reed 10 10 15
11
+8 Chad Green 19 11 19
12
- Juan Nicasio 12 12 22
13
- AJ Ramos 13 13 50
14
-3 Ryan Madson 11 5 14
15
+3 Kyle Barraclough 18 15 29
16
-9 Dellin Betances 7 6 16
17
-1 Mychal Givens 16 10 17
18
+29 Pedro Baez 47 18 47
19
T3
-4 Drew Steckenrider 15 15 26
20
+2 Yoshihisa Hirano 22 20 54
21
+3 George Kontos 24 21 31
22
+18 Jose Alvarado 40 22 59
23
-6 Bryan Shaw 17 17 23
24
+1 Tyler Lyons 25 24 27
25
-5 Will Harris 20 17 25
26
- Pedro Strop 26 26 28
27
+2 Ryan Tepera 29 27 38
28
+2 Robert Gsellman 30 28 30
29
-2 Dominic Leone 27 24 29
30
-9 Darren O’Day 21 21 33
31
+12 Jacob Barnes 43 31 80
32
+18 Jake McGee 50 32 51
33
+2 Tony Watson 35 33 41
34
T4
+7 Jordan Hicks 41 34 60
35
-1 Matt Barnes 34 32 35
36
-8 Blake Parker 28 28 36
37
+UR Luke Gregerson UR 37 37
38
-5 Nick Goody 33 30 38
39
-2 Alex Claudio 37 35 39
40
-1 Michael Feliz 39 26 40
41
+4 Josh Fields 45 41 69
42
-19 Joe Smith 23 14 42
43
+3 Nick Vincent 46 43 50
44
-12 Trevor Hildenberger 32 23 44
45
+4 Joakim Soria 49 45 49
46
-2 Ryan Buchter 44 43 47
47
+5 Danny Barnes 52 47 79
48
+6 Craig Stammen 54 48 75
49
-11 Steve Cishek 38 38 49
50
T5
+14 Joe Jimenez 64 50 80
51
- Hector Rondon 51 51 56
52
+3 Sergio Romo 55 52 58
53
-11 Emilio Pagan 42 42 53
54
-1 Wandy Peralta 53 53 73
55
+1 Joe Kelly 56 49 62
56
+1 Adam Morgan 57 34 57
57
+1 Carson Smith 58 42 58
58
+2 Andrew Chafin 60 57 60
59
+10 Seung-hwan Oh 69 59 71
60
+18 Dan Jennings 78 60 78
61
+UR Brandon Kintzler UR 61 66
62
+UR Yusmeiro Petit UR 62 62
63
T6
+UR Adam Cimber UR 63 63
64
+UR Greg Holland UR 64 64
65
+5 Chris Martin 70 65 78
66
+9 Chaz Roe 75 66 75
67
-2 Tony Cingrani 65 61 67
68
-2 Kevin Jepsen 66 56 68
69
+UR Amir Garrett UR 69 69
70
-7 Jim Johnson 63 63 76
71
+5 Sam Freeman 76 71 76
72
+5 Tyler Olson 77 72 77
73
+UR Phil Maton UR 73 73
74
+5 Shane Carle 79 74 79
75
+5 Victor Arano 80 75 80
76
+UR Dan Winkler UR 76 76
77
+UR Blake Wood UR 69 77
78
+UR Sammy Solis UR 78 78
79
-5 Danny Farquhar 74 74 79
80
+UR Tayron Guerrero UR 80 80

Today we will take look at the updated non-closer reliever market as there are some changes to the list since our previous installment. Keep in mind, just because a player is ranked below another player (especially when in the same tier), that doesn’t mean you should rush to drop the higher ranked player. These rankings are mostly to be used on a tier by tier scale and apply towards the pitcher’s value for the rest of the season.

  • Josh Hader has certainly made the case for himself being the best reliever in baseball right now, and who am I to argue against him. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise though, as he flashed this dominance towards the end of last season and has really turned into a supremely talented multi-inning weapon at the end of games. I love Counsell using him for a 2 inning save the other night and while I’d expect a few more of those down the road, he’s still not the teams “closer”. They may have found something good here with Hader, the 1A. and Jacob Barnes, the 1B, rotating as 2 inning save options, but we probably can’t count Matt Albers out of the loop yet. Since Albers was included in Tuesday’s Closing Time rankings and the situation is still muddled, I’ll keep Hader and Barnes on this list for the week and hope we get some more clarity over the weekend.
  • Another situation that is just as perplexing right now would the late-inning depth chart in Houston. Chris Devenski got another save Tuesday night, however from everything AJ Hinch has said so far, it’s tough to just pencil Devenski in as the teams closer. There’s some thought here that Devenski will work the 9th against a left-handed dominant order and Ken Giles against a right-handed dominant group, which I guess makes some sense. It’s obviously a plus for Devenski’s value and diminishes Giles value a ton, and maybe we can get a better feel for this situation over the weekend as well. It’s kind of annoying to see Giles “lose” his job despite not blowing a save yet while there are so many lesser established guys out there than Giles (and Alex Colome) getting save opportunities despite blowing saves already this season. I guess that’s just a luxury the Astros can afford by having a stacked bullpen.
  • Kenley Jansen likely won’t be pulled from his role as the Dodgers closer anytime soon despite his struggles, but in case he does blow another save or two in the near future or wind up on the DL with some injury, it looks as if Pedro Baez would be the next man up. Baez shows flashes of dominance but can be maddeningly inconsistent. He’s still been a solid setup man for Jansen the past 3 years and has shown good ability to miss bats at a high clip (15.53 SwStr% the past 4 seasons). Walks were a big concern last year (4.08 BB/9), but he has typically shown good command with a BB/9 under 2.68 in every other season. His 12/2 K/BB rate to start is obviously a nice trend in the right direction and makes Baez a more viable holds option with evergrowing save potential every time Jansen can’t shut the door.
  • Luke Gregerson was activated off the DL this week, adding to what is now looking like a stacked Cardinals bullpen that can be fine without Greg Holland. Bud Norris is off to a great start and should get some leash as the team’s closer given how well he has pitched. That being said it’s almost inevitable he comes crashing back to earth at some point and the Cardinals will eventually put Holland back into the closer’s role, but for now, Norris is the guy to own. I’d still hold Holland if you can afford to, but by no means is he a must-hold. This all leaves a battle for holds between Tyler Lyons, Dominic Leone, Gregerson, Jordan Hicks and Matt Bowman. I like all 5 to a certain degree, and this will be yet another team’s late-inning situation to monitor over the next week to see who is working in front of Norris.
  • I quickly want to also point out that Joe Jimenez is having a pretty nice season for himself thus far and is already working as Shane Greene’s primary set-up man. With Greene a prime trade candidate this year, look for Jimenez to see some save chances later in the year and hopefully end the season as the Tigers closer.
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.

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Comments


Ken

Perhaps its time to reevaluate Chad Green? Skills still stellar but not being put into postion to accumulate holds.

McNulty

he’s not even being put in many high leverage situations either.

However, last year he pitched 40 games, 69 innings, and 9 holds.

Assuming even an increase to 15 holds, he’s on pace for that (when you consider he could easily have 2 holds now, depending on the scores of games).

I think he’ll get about 1/3 of the holds of the elite relievers, maybe an few extra wins, and one of the best ratios and K rates. That skill set plays up in the 14+ team mixed leagues, but he has to be knocked down a little in the shallower 10 or 12 team mixed leagues.

Rick Graham

I’d gladly take 15 holds out of him with everything else he brings to the table, considering the league leader was at 30 last season. With Kahnle down and Betances struggling, he should see some more chances.

Joel

What is your opinion on Betances and his struggles so far? Although a small sample of 7.2 IP, his 7.04 ERA and 1.83 WHIP are concerning, but he does have a solid 1.22 xFIP and 1.78 SIERA. It does appear he is getting unlucky with that .533 BABIP as well.

What are you thoughts on Betances going forward and being utilized as the primary setup/holds RP for the Yankees?

Rick Graham

He should bounce back cause like you said, he has been getting really unlucky but I don’t think he’s going to be the same Betances we saw in 2014-2016 again. The K’s should still be there, but expect diminishing hold numbers and a high WHIP.

Also of note, he has lost 3 MPH on his fastball to begin the season. I know this has been a popular trend this year, but something to keep in mind as the weather begins to get better.

Alex

Not really a Holds related question as much as it is just about great pitching ratios… if you had to pick just one, would you rather own Chad Green or Carl Edwards? Thanks!

Tim

Who would you prefer? McGee or Alvarado? Assuming strictly holds but with ERA/WHIP as a peripheral

And would you drop Gsellman for either? I’m somehow at 0 holds with Osuna/Strickland/Holland/Albers/Gsellman (added last week)/Hand/Kela

Too many actual closers?

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