The Hold Up 5/9: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks the top pitchers to own for holds.

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  • It was tough finding a place to rank Jose Leclerc as his long-term value is certainly greater in saves-only leagues. He’s looked much better in his first two outings since being removed from the closer role and should work his way back into the ninth inning eventually.
  • Junior Guerra is currently Josh Hader‘s top handcuff, and he’s been a welcome surprise to a Brewers bullpen that’s struggled for much of April. I still see Jeremy Jeffress as the guy once he  gets back up to full speed as the team seems to be taking things slowly with him.
  • Brandon Workman has worked himself into the Sox secondary setup role in front of Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes and could have a ton of value. I’m skeptical that the ratios will stay anywhere near this low, especially given his walk rate, but he’s getting holds at a high clip right now with his four in the past two weeks first in baseball.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. is back with the Cubs, and the time couldn’t have been any better with Pedro Strop landing on the IL with a hamstring strain. The closer role figures to go primarily to Steve Cishek with Brandon Kintzler and maybe Brad Brach mixing in, but it should open up some hold opportunities for Edwards right away. He picked up the win in last night’s 11-inning affair with the Marlins, as he worked a perfect top half of the inning while adding two strikeouts.

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.

  • Avatar Jim says:

    What’s the deal with Jose Alvarado? He’s #2 but has been used incredibly sparingly lately. Almost as if there is an injury. Any insight?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      He looked great last night working in front of Castillo so I’m not worried about an injury anymore. His role however is still in question.

      • Avatar Jim says:

        I actually swapped out Alvarado this week for L Jackson. I own Castillo and couldn’t afford the low IP from Alvarado. Points league. Did I make a mistake, or do you see Jackson holding his own. Pun intended. ;)

  • Avatar Chucky says:

    Saves and Holds as separate categories. Luke Jackson, Alvarado and Jr Guerra. What roles do you see for the aforementioned.

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      I think Jackson see’s the biggest percentage of saves of the 3. Alvarado should still see a handful of while Guerra maybe gets 1 or 2 every few weeks. Maybe a 80/40/10 split for saves with the 3? I still like Alvarado over Guerra for holds but I get that Guerra has SP eligibility which can be a difference maker.

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