The Hold Up 7/18: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks the top pitchers to own for holds.

[holds_list_2019 list_id=”34089″ include_stats=”1″]
  • Matt Barnes seems to have found himself the past couple weeks and is back to being the Red Sox best setup man again. That will probably change this weekend with Nathan Eovaldi’s return pushing Brandon Workman back into a setup role, but for now, we can consider Barnes an option again in holds leagues. Having reliever inconsistencies of their own, it looks like Ryne Harper is making a push to be the Twins’ most reliable setup option. He barely touches 90 mph and doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters, but he does have great command of his pitches, especially his curveball that holds a 61% strikeout rate and .317 OPS against.
  • Colin Poche’s 95% fastball usage seem to finally be catching up to him as the young lefty has been torched for nine earned runs on four home runs over his past four outings. He still has a nice 28:3 K/BB ratio and the 18.7% swinging-strike rate is great, but he needs to find a secondary pitch he can trust to really take the next step toward being an elite reliever. Heath Hembree allowed a triple, double, and a single Tuesday night against the Blue Jays without recording an out, which seems to be a rare feat. He figures to lose out on hold chances with Nathan Eovaldi returning this weekend as the Red Sox reliever carousel keeps turning.

  • Adam Morgan and Jake Diekman have both had their fair share of problems in the past, but both seem to be locked in to steady setup roles for now, so that at the very least puts them on the radar in holds leagues. Both have the ability to miss bats at a high rate (15.5% and 16.6% swinging-strike rates respectively), but Diekman’s walk rate (13.1%) leaves something to be desired while Morgan has benefited from a lucky .215 BABIP (.302 career average).

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.

7 responses to “The Hold Up 7/18: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Matt says:

    Realizing he doesn’t have a hold in MLB yet… I still feel like Andres Munoz needs to be on this list now

    • Rick Graham says:

      I probably should have put him on the back end of the list (around 60) for now because of his talent alone, but I don’t think he’ll have a ton of value this year. Maybe if the Padres become sellers, he could work his way into a consistent high leverage role, but for now he’s not getting a ton of usage behind Yates and Stammen.

  2. Mallex P. Keaton says:

    Colin Poche is doing his best to destroy my post-ASB H2H matchup. I had such high hopes based on that K rate…

  3. Jim says:

    Flip flop Minter and Dyson and this List is legit.

  4. Airmigo says:

    Oberg’s too high. Rockies pitcher, 8 holds on the season, get outtaaaaa here.

    • Rick Graham says:

      He had a bad week after that list was made but up until then, he was one of the only consistent option’s to provide low ratio’s, K’s and some SV/HLD’s.

      • airmigo says:

        In the end this is a list for holds. Not saves+holds as far as I’m aware. And my main league has saves and holds separated.

        Oberg has a 2.88 K/BB ratio on the season, also another category in my league, which is straight up not a good number. 3.37 FIP.

        Kahnle (18 holds, 4.31 K/BB) 3.35 FIP

        Morgan (18 holds IN ONLY 27 innings pitched. 3.13 K/BB) 3.56 FIP

        Gallegos (9 holds, 8.75 K/BB) 2.30 FIP.

        Dyson (16 holds, 6.71 K/BB, 2.72 FIP)


        Are some guys that should’ve been above him imo.

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