This week sees The Hold Up lose a few big name hold’s options in Matt Bush, Brad Brach and Shawn Kelley as all 3 will get a chance to close out games for their respective teams. This leaves the elite/great hold options a little thin, with their being only about a dozen or so at the moment. There are still some names lower on the list that are really intriguing as long as they can solidify a role in which hold’s can be obtained. And I’m not just talking about Chris Devenski.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how non-closer reliever options are looking so far this season.
TIER 1: Good Vibration
3. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)
- You could say Andrew Miller deserves a tier of his own, and maybe it will happen this season, but I still believe in Dellin Betances being a 4 category stud, as well as the newcomer to the tier…
- Hector Neris belongs here, posting stellar numbers so far in 7 games. He has yet to allow a run. while striking out 9 and deserves to get paid/ close out ball games for a MLB team.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
10. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
- Addison Reed filled in quite nicely for Jeurys Familia, only have one blown save. He now transfers back to being a great holds option. He led the league last year and it wasn’t even close.
- The rest of this list had fairly good weeks outside of a bad outing by Arodys Vizcaino. Jim Johnson has been OK recently, so his chances at closing out games anytime soon seem to be fading. It’s tough to predict holds for a team that will struggle to find a way to win even 75 games.
- Justin Wilson could find himself closing out games very soon, with K-Rod (can we find a new, more relevant nickname for him now?) really struggling to be effective at this stage of his career. A change is inevitable at some point this season, whether it be Wilson soon or Joe Jimenez later.
TIER 3: Torn
17. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
19. Derek Law (San Francisco Giants)
20. Cory Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)
21. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
29. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)
30. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Trevor Rosenthal is probably one more Seung Hwan Oh blow up from getting another crack at being the Cardinals closer. He has looked like his once old dominant self this season outside of one bad appearance.
- Koda Glover and Darren O’Day may be “co-closers” in name, but neither is expected to earn the bulk of save opportunities, probably only seeing them when the other guy needs a day off. I like Glover’s upside the most obviously, being 1 or 2 bad Shawn Kelley outings away from maybe having the job to himself. Either way, he should be the primary set up man in Washington right now.
- I love Chris Devenski, and he should be higher on the list, I just need to see him used more. As is, he will be hit or miss every week (he threw just 1 inning in week 2). Realistically, the Astros should begin to consider him taking a rotation spot from Joe Musgrove or Mike Fiers.
- Jeremy Jeffress is now, according to most reports, probably next in line for saves in Texas shall Matt Bush falter. He should at the very least get slightly more hold chances than Tony Barnette for the time being, as he’s looked much better lately after a rough start to the year.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
41. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
- Jacob Barnes and Matt Barnes (no relation) have both been really good this year. Both are more secondary/7th inning set up guys when their teams are at full health, but Jacob could earn a bigger role if Knebel or Feliz (who both struggled yesterday) have a few more bad outings. Matt will be the Red Sox primary set up man until Tyler Thornburg is ready to return, which is still a bit of a mystery.
- Fernando Salas loses some value with Famila’s return. He could still have value as that secondary setup man, but Hansel Robles could still see some of those chances.
- David Phelps keeps being used in high leverage situations, he just hasn’t pitched well this season. He’s at least put up a 10/1 K/BB ratio thru 8 innings, so there’s reason for optimism.
TIER 5: There She Goes
64. Sam LeClerc (Texas Rangers)
66. Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays)
70. Boone Logan (Cleveland Indians)
- Archie Bradley is probably, actually he is the most talented option in that Diamondbacks bullpen. He should begin to see some more opportunities going forward, at least until Jake Barrett is back.
- Ross Stripling has been great for the Dodgers as their long man, functioning as a Chris Devenski–lite of sorts for fantasy purposes. There can still value in that in deeper leagues.
Sammy Solis (Washington Nationals)
Houston Street (Los Angeles Angels)
Glenn Perkins (Minnesota Twins)
JP Howell (Toronto Blue Jays)