Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 4/30

Rick Graham updates his top 100 relief pitchers for SV+HD leagues.

Josh Staumont is the latest Royals pitcher to record a save, but despite the team using six different relievers to close out games this year, Staumont seems likely to stick in the role here for a while. A popular breakout pick entering the season, Staumont has done a better job limiting walks (10.2% BB rate) but I’m not quite sure everything is fine under the hood. His velocity being down is a small concern, and it has led to him not getting the swings and misses on his fastball like he was accustomed to. I also do not love his pitch arsenal charts here either, but it helps explain the lack of whiffs and lowered walk rate. So why did he move up 20 spots? Well, the stuff is starting to come around, it seems, and while his last four outings have come against the Tigers and Pirates, he was still pretty dominant in each of those appearances, with his fastball averaging 98+ MPH. For now, I’d label Staumont as a volatile late-inning option, but he is certainly trending upward.

Notes

 

  • I feel like I mention the Reds bullpen every single day, but we need to talk about Tejay Antone a little more. He’s upped his slider and curveball usage this season, now throwing the two 68% of the time, which has led to a huge uptick in his whiff rate (39.8%). The team will likely continue using him in multi-inning outings, but that doesn’t mean he won’t grab the occasional save (or hold) each week while helping with ratios and K’s. I still prefer Lucas Sims, but for those of you in leagues where SP eligible relievers are a luxury, Antone may be the best of the best there.
  • While Michael Kopech is not too far behind Antone, and now that he is back in the bullpen, it will certainly be interesting to see if his usage changes at all following two dazzling starts. Like Antone, he may be the second-best pitcher in that bullpen, but it’s tough to tell if he will factor into a ton of SV+HLD chances at the moment. Either way, he deserves to be on your roster for the ratio and K help alone, and added holds would be gravy.

 

  • The entire Rockies bullpen has been struggling this season, and now even Daniel Bard is being affected, allowing runs in four of his last five appearances. One member of that bullpen who has yet to really implode is Mychal Givens, who may be working his way into some save chances if Bard has another meltdown. Givens isn’t a must-roster player, but he doesn’t walk many guys and has an above-average K rate.
  • Two rookies who deserve your attention immediately are Garrett Whitlock and Camilo Doval. Doval already has three holds since being called up on the 18th and has the prospect pedigree you like to see in a potential high leverage reliever. As for Whitlock, he looks like the steal of the Rule 5 draft and is starting to get some late-inning usage, as evidenced by his two holds over the past week. Whitlock currently holds a 33.3% K-BB% rate and .204 xwOBA, both elite numbers.

 

  • It certainly has been a trying year for Evan Marshall so far, who has bounced up and down this list, but the fact of the matter is that his curveball is just not the same this year and the White Sox have other options in that bullpen (Kopech, Codi Heuer, Aaron Bummer), so they don’t need him in high leverage situations. It’s crazy to see that Marshall, who arguably had the best curveball in baseball last year (58.5% Whiff rate) has yet to earn a single whiff with the pitch this season over 42 pitches thrown. His other secondary offering, his changeup, has also been hit around pretty well in the early going.
  • J.P. Feyereisen and Devin Williams led the league in SV+HLD’s the past week with four apiece. It’s nice to see Williams getting back on track here but he’s far from the dominant reliever we saw last year. His walk rate is way up and the 1.55 WHIP is nothing to get excited about, but at least the swing and miss stuff is still present.

 

5/1 EDIT: Removed Darren O’Day following news of his rotator cuff injury

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1+2
2Aroldis Chapman+2
3Liam Hendriks-1
4Edwin Díaz-3
5Ryan Pressly
T2
-
6Raisel Iglesias-
7Kenley Jansen-
8James Karinchak-
9Brad Hand
T3
-
10Craig Kimbrel-
11Matt Barnes-
12Emmanuel Clase-
13Will Smith-
14Diego Castillo-
15Drew Pomeranz-
16Giovanny Gallegos-
17Devin Williams-
18Héctor Neris-
19Mark Melancon
T4
+1
20Chad Green+1
21Trevor May+1
22Jake McGee+1
23Jake Diekman+1
24Jordan Romano-5
25Taylor Rogers-
26Lucas Sims+1
27Richard Rodríguez+1
28Blake Treinen
T5
+1
29José Alvarado+1
30Kendall Graveman+1
31Alex Reyes-5
32Yimi García+2
33Scott Barlow+2
34Lou Trivino-1
35Victor González-3
36Tyler Duffey-
37Tanner Rainey-
38Tejay Antone+12
39Rafael Dolis-1
40Josh Staumont+20
41Mike Mayers
T6
-1
42Michael Kopech+9
43César Valdez+3
44Aaron Bummer-5
45Codi Heuer-3
46Emilio Pagán-5
47Amir Garrett-4
48Gregory Soto-4
49Ian Kennedy-2
50Daniel Bard-5
51Tyler Rogers-2
52Adam Ottavino+2
53Miguel Castro+3
54Joely Rodríguez+1
55Jonathan Loaisiga+37
56J.P. Feyereisen+12
57Jordan Hicks
T7
-5
58Hansel Robles-5
59Tanner Scott-2
60A.J. Minter+10
61Ryne Stanek+11
62Mychal Givens+7
63Sean Doolittle+11
64Kevin Ginkel-2
65Stefan Crichton-1
66Austin Adams+5
67Sam Howard+33
68Daniel Hudson-7
69Andrew Chafin-4
70Tyler Matzek-3
71Garrett Whitlock+22
72Dylan Floro+1
73Camilo Doval+24
74Sean Newcomb+1
75J.B. Wendelken+1
76Brent Suter+3
77Evan Marshall-18
78Connor Brogdon
T8
+5
79Pierce Johnson-2
80Justin Wilson-2
81Kyle Zimmer+UR
82Yusmeiro Petit+UR
83Ryan Thompson+1
84Andrew Kittredge+1
85Greg Holland-22
86Chris Rodriguez+12
87Anthony Misiewicz-1
88Darwinzon Hernandez+6
89Duane Underwood Jr.+UR
90Caleb Thielbar+UR
91Brooks Raley+UR
92Sam Coonrod-1
93Jeffrey Springs+UR
94David Phelps+UR
95Rex Brothers+UR
96Paul Fry+UR
97Tony Watson+UR
98Tim Hill+UR
99Rafael Montero-19
100Alex Colomé-52

 

Injured List

 

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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 Cubs Fan says:

    How does IP factor into your rankings? You talked about relievers like Petit and Loaisiga yesterday that seem to see a lot more innings than some of the guys in Tiers 4/5. It seems like I’d be better off riding with those guys in H2H despite lower ratios compared with relievers that see 1-2 innings per week.

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Not a lot. The innings help for certain guys (Antone, Petit, Loaisiga) but for the most part focused on finding guys who will help with K’s and SV+HLD’s while not blowing up your ratios.

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Guys pitching 1-2 innings a week will fluctuated as the season goes on depending on their teams success that week.

  • Avatar Matt says:

    Hi Rick:

    In a SV+HLD league, I do not care about the ratio’s of my RP’s, I am just targeting quantity of SV+HLD’s. Pick 3/4: Victor Gonzalez, Gallegos, Chad Green, Diekman. Would you rather have Victor Gonzalez over any of the elite ratio guys? Yes, I know Gallegos is a stud, but like I said I am targeting quantity, LAD are a far better team, more chances I would imagine

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      I don’t think Gonzalez gets that many more hold chances over the trio you mentioned. Maybe a few more but not enough to warrant a change.

  • Avatar Wes says:

    Hey Rick,

    I play in a H2H league that has both saves AND holds as separate categories. Should I use this list or the separate rankings- Closing Time and The Holds Up? Thanks!

    • Avatar Mallex P. Keaton says:

      I am in a similar league and I rely more on Closing Time and The Hold Up to keep track of players. However, I find this list to be quite useful for two reasons: 1) Rick’s updated notes through Thursday’s games; and 2) to identify any potential set up men that might be better options than bottom-tier closers or committee guys.

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