The Hold Up 9/10: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's top setup men for the 2020 season.

It’s been a struggle for Chad Green over the past 15 days, as the reliever has allowed eight earned runs over his last 6.1 IP following a 10-day layoff in the middle of August. Green’s velocity has actually been higher over that stretch, but it’s his new curveball that has been getting hit around as of late. He’s still only allowed four hits (three being homers, however) with his fastball over 228 pitches, but his curve now has a .333 BA and .556 SLG against. The xStats still seem to indicate Green will be just fine, but with the Yankees currently in a free fall, I think Green and Adam Ottavino deserve to be bumped down.


  • After having a BABIP between .287 and .309 over the past three seasons, Tony Watson is riding a .162 BABIP this year to career-low ERA and WHIP numbers. Despite losing 3.4 mph on his fastball this season, Watson has been able to dominate by throwing his changeup more often. He and Tyler Rogers are sharing the closer role, but I’d lean towards Watson being the guy to roster right now.
  • Of course David Phelps has struggled since being traded to the Phillies, because that seems to just happen to any reliever who winds up there. In his last three outings, Phelps has only been able to get through an inning pitched, allowing five hits, three walks and five earned runs.
  • Emilo Pagan is expected to return from his short IL stint today or tomorrow, and I’d imagine he’ll slot back into a setup role right off the bat. He was pitching much better the two weeks prior to landing on the IL.
  • Andrew Miller returned from the IL this week and has looked fine so far. He already has a hold in two outings, so expect him to see plenty of high leverage work going forward, assuming he stays healthy.
  • Another high leverage reliever working to get off the IL, Pedro Baez faced live hitters yesterday and is expected to return to the Dodgers bullpen this weekend. It’s good timing for the Dodgers, as their bullpen could use some reinforcements after this past week.


1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Drew Pomeranz+1
3Tyler Duffey+1
4James Karinchak+2
5Tanner Rainey+2
6Amir Garrett
7Diego Castillo+UR
8Scott Barlow+2
9Zack Britton-1
10Jonathan Hernandez-1
11Sergio Romo+1
12Blake Treinen-1
13Joakim Soria-
14Evan Marshall+2
15Nick Wittgren+2
16Jake Diekman+10
17Tony Watson+12
18Chad Green-13
19Rowan Wick+8
20Archie Bradley+1
21Chris Martin
22Shane Greene-2
23Will Smith-5
24Will Harris-2
25David Phelps-11
26Justin Wilson-1
27Yusmeiro Petit+1
28Gregory Soto+UR
29Josh Staumont+2
30Emilio Pagan+2
31Rafael Dolis+16
32John Gant+5
33Andrew Miller+28
34Lucas Sims+9
35Pedro Baez+20
36Ryan Brasier+5
37Tyler Clippard+1
38Adam Ottavino-14
39Hector Neris+1
40Freddy Peralta-4
41Mychal Givens
42Caleb Ferguson-19
43Trevor May-10
44Felix Pena-9
45Phil Maton-3
46Peter Fairbanks+3
47Tommy Hunter-2
48Carlos Estevez-14
49Ryan Helsley-5
50A. J. Cole+1
51Yimi Garcia+1
52Buck Farmer+1
53Jake McGee+3
54Brusdar Graterol+3
55Hunter Harvey+8
56Wander Suero+11
57Codi Heuer+14
58Tanner Scott+UR
59Jarlin Garcia+UR
60T. J. McFarland-14
61Jose Cisnero
62Kyle Ryan-12
63Oliver Perez-9
64A. J. Minter-6
65Jesse Hahn-6
66Luis Cessa-6
67Craig Kimbrel-3
68Enoli Paredes-6
69Craig Stammen-3
70Jimmy Cordero-1
71Alex Reyes-1
72Yoshihisa Hirano+UR
73Junior Guerra+UR
74Matt Foster-1
75Hector Rondon+5
76Brad Boxberger-1
77J.B. Wendelken-1
78James Hoyt-
79Matt Strahm-14
80Brent Suter-12
81Luke Jackson-7
82Pierce Johnson-5
83Miguel Castro-4
84Tim Hill-3
85Ryan Tepera-3
86Chasen Shreve-3
87Sam Coonrod-2
88Stefan Crichton-2
89Anthony Misiewicz+UR
90Anthony Kay+UR


Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm 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.

  • Avatar Mario says:

    You’ve been high on Barlow for a while now, but the Royals are so bad. What makes you so high on him?

    Also, do you see JoJo Ramirez moving up?

    • Avatar Mario says:

      *JoJo Romero

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Talent and opportunity at the back end of games for Barlow. It actually looks like he is the teams closer so he’ll probably be on that list next week.

      Romero is intriguing, could definitely fit in that last tier for now. We’ll see how the Phillies use him this week.

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