The Hold Up 4/7: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

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

Happy Opening Day everyone! We have a trio of new faces to the top of the list, as offseason acquisitions (or demotions) have bumped them from the closer spot back into a setup role. The newest addition is Blake Treinen who was looking more and more likely to wind up in a setup role, even before the Dodgers traded for Craig Kimbrel, as the team prefers using him in more of a fireman role anyway. Look for him to put up similar numbers to last season. His former teammate Kenley Jansen signed with the Braves which moves Will Smith (not his teammate) back into a setup role. It’s probably the best for Smith and the Braves, and if this bullpen can get/stay healthy, they should be one of if not the best in baseball. The final player to mention is Camilo Doval, who appears to be beginning the season in more of a setup role as Gabe Kapler has elected to give closing duties back to Jake McGee. Doval is still the closer of the future in San Francisco, and it could happen sooner than you think this year if McGee struggles out of the gate.

 

Notes

 

  • It’s looking like Aaron Ashby won’t begin the season in the Brewers rotation, which is unfortunate because I’d really love to see him working 5-6 innings a game. That said, he is still definitely someone to target, especially in holds leagues, as he should still provide help in multiple categories, whatever his role may be. I hope he isn’t on this list next week, but even if he is, hold tight for now.
  • The rumored Taylor Rogers/Chris Paddack trade that was floating around Twitter has me even more interested in Twins relievers now, as it looks like there’s a possibility that one of Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, or Jhoan Duran could open the year as the teams closer. If that’s the case, most teams would elect to go with the veteran in the role to start (so Duffey) but the Twins have been aggressive this offseason to try and compete (which is why this trade makes no sense) so perhaps they’d just turn things over to the electric Duran despite zero MLB experience.

 

  • Two exciting pitchers coming off TJS are back on the list after a year away in Seranthony Domínguez and Andrés Muñoz. Both have looked great this spring and should be major factors in their teams (both playoff contenders) respective bullpens. The window to buy in on each may be closing shut.
  • On the flip side of that alleged Paddack/Rogers trade, the Padres bullpen remains very much in flux. Even still, I feel like Pierce Johnson is a safe option in holds leagues as he will assuredly fill in a late-inning role, while Dinelson Lamet remains a high upside target to chase. If the Padres land Rogers, either he or Robert Suarez likely become the top setup option to begin the year. EDIT: the Twins/Padres deal DID go through this morning, with Taylor Rogers and Emilio Pagán trading places. The list has been updated to reflect this move.

 

  • Injuries have forced a pair of underwhelming relievers into top set up options for their respective clubs to begin the year. JT Chargois seems likely to begin the year as the Rays 7th or 8th inning option, potentially closing out games as well. While in St. Louis Génesis Cabrera is the favorite for holds after the team announced Jordan Hicks as the 5th starter and will be without Alex Reyes for a while.
  • The addition of Craig Kimbrel perhaps should bump Brusdar Graterol down the list instead of up, but I really feel like there’s a potential Emmanuel Clase type leap to be had here for Graterol, and it wouldn’t shock me if he outperformed Daniel Hudson in holds leagues when all is said and done.

 

  • A pair of trades took place this past weekend that will have holds league implications. Joely Rodríguez heads to the Mets from the Yankees, giving the Mets a much needed lefty out of their bullpen. His role shouldn’t change much in the grand scheme of things, but this is the Mets so will so how he responds. Miguel Castro goes the other way and gives the Yankees a new “Clay Holmes” type to mold into a slider specialist.
  • The Orioles also sent their two best relievers to Miami in Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser. Their respective values don’t take a hit, but I imagine Richard Bleier’s will, as not only does he have two more arms to compete with, but another lefty in Scott. What happens in Baltimore’s bullpen remains to be seen, but I think it’s safe to say that you should be avoiding it at all costs.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Héctor Neris
T2
+1
3Diego Castillo+1
4Jonathan Loáisiga+1
5Blake Treinen+UR
6Aaron Bummer-
7Will Smith+UR
8Camilo Doval+UR
9Art Warren
T3
+1
10Ryan Tepera-2
11Chad Green-
12Anthony Bender-3
13Kendall Graveman-
14Garrett Whitlock+1
15Matt Wisler+2
16Daniel Hudson
T4
-2
17Collin McHugh+1
18Trevor May+5
19Tyler Rogers+10
20Brooks Raley-
21Tim Mayza-
22Tyler Matzek-
23Alex Vesia+2
24Aaron Ashby+UR
25Clay Holmes-1
26Phil Maton
T5
-
27Jake Cousins-8
28Jake Diekman+8
29Jorge Alcala+18
30Aaron Loup+13
31Seth Lugo+13
32Michael Fulmer+8
33Josh Staumont+15
34Seranthony Domínguez+UR
35Andrés Muñoz+UR
36Robert Suarez
T6
+33
37Dinelson Lamet+UR
38Pierce Johnson+UR
39Nick Sandlin-6
40Tanner Scott-5
41J.P. Feyereisen+11
42Tyler Duffey+18
43Amir Garrett-9
44Tanner Rainey+UR
45A.J. Minter+1
46Mike Mayers+5
47Cole Sulser+2
48Brad Boxberger-10
49Ryne Stanek+10
50José Alvarado+7
51Robert Stephenson
T7
+3
52JT Chargois+31
53Génesis Cabrera+38
54Jhoan Duran+UR
55Joely Rodríguez-5
56Austin Adams-3
57Brusdar Graterol+22
58Richard Bleier-19
59Trevor Richards+2
60Austin Warren+3
61Connor Brogdon+5
62Julian Merryweather+6
63Anthony Gose+7
64Mychal Givens+35
65Drew Steckenrider+15
66Rowan Wick+UR
67Yimi García+9
68A.J. Puk+UR
69Dylan Coleman+UR
70Tony Santillan+UR
71Miguel Castro
T8
+6
72Dominic Leone-
73Jeurys Familia-2
74Ryan Brasier+4
75Jake Brentz+12
76Alex Lange+UR
77Adam Ottavino+16
78Alex Colomé+16
79Bryan Shaw+UR
80Ian Kennedy+15
81Chris Stratton+16
82Matt Strahm+UR
83Brett Martin+UR
84Chris Martin+UR
85Ryan Helsley+UR
86Reynaldo López+UR
87Hunter Strickland+UR
88J.B. Wendelken+10
89Blake Taylor+UR
90Domingo Acevedo+UR
91Will Harris+UR
92Sean Doolittle+UR
93Jarlín García+UR
94Joe Jiménez+UR
95Dillon Tate+UR
96Tim Hill+UR
97Dauri Moreta+UR
98Caleb Thielbar+UR
99Lucas Luetge-24
100Anthony Misiewicz+UR

 

Photo by Rich von Biberstein/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.

6 responses to “The Hold Up 4/7: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. bobbo says:

    Great article as usual Rick, thanks for the help for those of us in HLDs leagues! Ashby sitting high on the list since he’s starting in the pen, but what about Christian Javier down in Houston? Don’t see him with the same value upside until he gets his shot in the rotation?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Thanks bobbo! Thats actually a great call and an oversight on my part. I’d still prefer Ashby over Javier, but Javier deserves to be in the top 50 discussion here. Tough trying to come up with a value for these SP/RP hybrids.

  2. Brian says:

    No Paul Sewald?

  3. Powdered Toast Man says:

    These are so awesome. Play in several SOLDs leagues and your lists are something I look forward to each week. They have really helped in the past.

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