The Hold Up 8/22: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks the top pitchers to own for holds.

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  • The Mets bullpen has been in turmoil as of late, with Seth Lugo replacing Edwin Diaz in the closer role for now. The team has stated it wants to get Diaz out of high-leverage situations in order to get him right, which makes sense for now. Right in the middle of a playoff race, and with few relievers they can truly count on, the team will need Diaz to get back on the right track as soon as possible. He was fine in two innings pitched this week (one hit, a walk, and three strikeouts), so hopefully that’s a small step in the right direction. The other reliever in New York surging up the depth chart is Justin Wilson, who could mix into some ninth inning situations with Lugo. He’s been a sneaky contributor in ERA, strikeouts, and holds this season.
  • Another NL East bullpen that is trying to figure itself out is based out of Atlanta, with Mark Melancon currently the favorite for saves. That could change in a week, as both Shane Greene and Luke Jackson pitched well this week, but for now, the three are interesting last reliever on the roster types for those in SV/HLD leagues.
  • Mike Morin is the next man up in the Phillies’ quest to find a setup man to work in front of Hector Neris, with the results encouraging for the time being. He hasn’t allowed a walk in more than a month and now has four holds over the past two weeks. Andres Munoz continues to flash his immense potential and this week was able to pick up two holds. Here’s to hoping he carves out a setup role in front of Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates the rest of the season. While he hasn’t been contributing in the holds department quite yet, Joe Kelly has quietly figured things out and is currently on pace to have the best season of his career. Over the last two months, he holds a 23:4 K/BB rate while allowing just 12 hits over 17.1 innings.

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 JK says:

    Hey Rick,

    In a saves / holds league, would A.J. Puk be a wise investment for sneaky holds since he has SP eligibility only? Do you think he will stick in that high leverage holds role?

    Thx

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Little tentative on him at the moment but last night’s usage was certainly promising. Given his SP eligibility, maybe he deserves a bump but I want to see how things play out for a week or so.

  • Avatar Jim says:

    How is Nick Anderson climbing the ranks when he is getting virtually no Hold chances? Ratios, yes. They are great. But this is the ‘Hold Up’ and with 2 Holds over the past month, that is below replacement level. (Actually he had one last night, so that’s 3 in 30 days.)
    What am I missing? Isn’t it safer to own a lower tier Closer like Melancon atm?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      He is the clear cut top set up man there, working the 8th inning for almost all of Pagan’s save chances since he was dealt. The hold totals are bad luck and he should see a 2 maybe 3 hold week ahead. For now, I’ll take the elite ratios and K’s while waiting for the holds to come.

    • Avatar Orange WHIPs says:

      Those Ks are killer, man. In my SV+HLDs league he’s ranked as the 7th most valuable RP over the last 30 days.

  • Avatar Orange WHIPs says:

    Gallegos 2nd is kind of absurd. He’s pitching great, but he still has just 4 Holds the last 30 days and 12 on the year.

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Only three RP’s have 6 or more holds since August 1. Gallegos has 3 (1 more than Ottavino) which ranks 15th and provides elite ratios and K totals. It’s too hard to predict holds so I can only base these rankings on talent, performance and role.

      • Avatar Orange WHIPs says:

        Yeah, I mean I roster him everywhere and he’s definitely helpful, but I just don’t see a guy with 12 Holds on the season (and in his career total), a decent sample size, as the second-most valuable Hold RP. Especially with such a short track record of MLB success. I’d slate him in the low teens.

  • Avatar Armadillofury says:

    Looks like Lorenzen is higher in the Reds pecking order than Garrett – he’s pitched the 8th inning the last two times.

  • Avatar Orange WHIPs says:

    I’m concerned about Pedro Baez’s peripherals. The opportunities should be there, but he’s not pitching very well.

    It’s down to Baez, Duffey, and Bummer for my last RP slot down the stretch where I need ratios, Ks and SV+HLDs. Really can’t decide which – Duffey is pitching great and seems like his role is increasing with a cakewalk schedule for the Twins, Baez should get the most opportunities but is pitching poorly, and Bummer has the best ratios on the season but lacks Ks and is on a garbage team. Thoughts?

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