Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 6/4

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

James Karinchak is having a ridiculous season, or at least he was up until Cleveland decided to move him into the closer role. Over the past two weeks, Karinchak has an 11.81 ERA and 2.81 WHIP to go with an 8/5 K/BB ratio. So have teams figured him out or is he just not meant for the closer role? It may be a bit of both, but the best answer is that he is human and just going through a rough patch right now. His fastball command has been sketchy as of late, and while he’ll never be known as a great command/control guy, he’s typically better than this. In April, Karinchak only walked two batters over 10.2 innings. He’s now walked 12 over his past 15 innings while also allowing ten hits, three of which were home runs. The underlying skills haven’t changed, his velocity is still the same and I think this phase will pass and we’ll get back to the dominant April version of Karinchak in short order. Just stick with him for now.

 

Notes

 

  • The Rays are always changing their bullpen roles on a day-to-day basis, but I feel like J.P. Feyereisen is a pretty safe bet to be at the top of their closer depth chart right now, and for good reason. While he’s not overpowering, Feyereisen’s slider and changeup get him a ton of whiffs, as he is one of only a handful of qualified pitchers with a Whiff rate over 40% still. Since returning from his IL stint, Diego Castillo has just one save in six appearances, while Pete Fairbanks has one save all year, with Feyereisen picking up three saves since Castillo and Fairbanks last recorded a save.
  • Lucas Sims finally seems to be settling into the closer role in Cincinnati, as it took the Reds almost two months to find some stability in the role. Tejay Antone will still be a factor, and I trust him more than Sims at the moment, but don’t let Sims bloated ERA turn you off. He’s pitched much better than that 5.14 ERA suggests, and could wind up being a difference-maker for fantasy managers over the final two-thirds of the season.

 

  • Richard Rodríguez and Ian Kennedy are the two closers with the best odds of being traded first, and while the Rangers haven’t given Kennedy any save opportunities in the past three weeks or so, I’m still comfortable that he will succeed in any role in he finds himself in later on this season. As for Rodríguez, I also believe he will make for a quality setup man for a contending team, but I’d love to see more whiffs out of him, which we’ve seen in the not too distant past (36% Whiff rate in 2020). His current 22.3 Whiff rate is in large part due to the fact that he’s throwing his fastball 90% of the time, and while he’s been successful with it, I still feel like his slider usage should be closer to last years 28% than this years 10%. But with a 1.60 ERA and .60 WHIP, why change anything at the moment?
  • Yimi García has now had back-to-back poor outings, but he was excellent overall in May, not allowing a run until his ninth and final appearance for the month. His first time pitching in June, his most recent appearance, was by far his worst of the season but I’m not quite ready to panic yet. He continues to allow hard contact at an alarming rate, but where he pitches most of his games, it may not matter all that much.

 

  • Brad Hand has put together an effective string of outings and actually leads the league in saves over the past three weeks but he still feels like a ticking time bomb as he simply can not get miss bats at a high level anymore (22% Whiff rate, 7.5% SwStr rate) and his command isn’t good enough to be an elite finesse pitcher (.363 xwOBA, 5.48 xERA). For now, soak up as many saves as he will get you but beware of the impending doom and consider selling if there are any takers.
  • Paul Fry looks like the favorite for saves in Baltimore and has put together a nice career year for himself in 2021. With a 37.6% K rate and .243 xwOBA, Fry is the most logical option to finish off games for the Orioles, as he also doesn’t carry an 18+ BB rate like fellow lefty Tanner Scott. Cole Sulser has also pitched very well out of the pen this season, and while he may see some more high leverage work, I’m not sure he’s a threat to Fry for the time being.

 

  • Daniel Bard has been over the past month, and probably someone I have been sleeping on as his age and the Coors factor scares me a bit. Over the past month, Bard has a .75 ERA, .917 WHIP, and 19/3 K/BB ratio but unfortunately only has three saves as the Rockies continue to struggle. Our own Alexander Chase had a great thread on Twitter yesterday explaining how Bard could really be a great trade deadline acquisition if he can escape Colorado. Let’s hope he gets shipped off to a contender where he can help set up a closer in a normal ballpark.
  • Liam Hendriks was the only reliever to notch three or more SV+HLD’s this past week, as he actually finished with four saves. There’s not much else to say about Hendriks who has been fantastic in his first season with the White Sox and proven worthy of his early-round draft status.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Aroldis Chapman-
3Liam Hendriks-
4Edwin Diaz
T2
-
5Ryan Pressly-
6Matt Barnes-
7Kenley Jansen+1
8Craig Kimbrel+1
9Raisel Iglesias+1
10James Karinchak-3
11Jordan Romano+3
12Giovanny Gallegos-1
13Mark Melancon-1
14Hector Neris+3
15Will Smith+1
16Tejay Antone-3
17J.P. Feyereisen+23
18Alex Reyes-
19Kendall Graveman-4
20Lucas Sims+8
21Chad Green
T3
-
22Scott Barlow+11
23Ian Kennedy-
24Blake Treinen+1
25Jake Diekman+1
26Pete Fairbanks+1
27Diego Castillo-8
28Emmanuel Clase+3
29Taylor Rogers-
30Victor Gonzalez+4
31Richard Rodriguez-7
32Devin Williams-12
33Seth Lugo+UR
34Tyler Rogers-2
35Jose Alvarado+4
36Aaron Bummer-1
37Trevor May-15
38Chris Martin-
39Ryan Tepera+10
40Yimi Garcia-3
41Brad Hand
T4
-5
42Mike Mayers+1
43Emilio Pagan+2
44Austin Adams+3
45Andrew Chafin+3
46Paul Fry+19
47Adam Ottavino-1
48Daniel Hudson-6
49Evan Marshall+49
50Michael Fulmer-6
51Daniel Bard+32
52Jonathan Loaisiga-1
53Ryne Stanek-1
54Lou Trivino-
55Wander Suero+2
56Jake McGee-1
57Miguel Castro-7
58Hansel Robles-2
59Tyler Duffey+3
60Codi Heuer-1
61Rafael Dolis
T5
+7
62Gregory Soto-1
63Garrett Whitlock-5
64Sam Coonrod-11
65Joely Rodriguez+1
66Tanner Scott+1
67Jeffrey Springs+5
68Garrett Crochet+8
69Dylan Floro-5
70Andrew Kittredge-
71A.J. Minter-2
72Tyler Chatwood-31
73Pierce Johnson+1
74David Bednar+1
75Kyle Zimmer-2
76Yusmeiro Petit+2
77Josh Sborz+8
78Genesis Cabrera-7
79Tyler Matzek-16
80Darwinzon Hernandez
T6
+1
81Caleb Thielbar+5
82Rex Brothers+8
83Anthony Bass+4
84Bryan Shaw+11
85Brent Suter+8
86Sam Howard+2
87Carlos Estevez-5
88Keynan Middleton+UR
89Cole Sulser+UR
90Tim Hill+2
91Ryan Thompson+UR
92Kyle Crick-3
93Brad Boxberger+UR
94Craig Stammen-17
95Jake Brentz+UR
96Aaron Loup+UR
97Jeurys Familia+UR
98Mychal Givens+UR
99Tanner Rainey-
100Rafael Montero+UR

 

Injured List

 

 

Photo by Frank Jansky/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 JB says:

    Demarcus Evans fails to make anyone’s list, but the kid is electric. Do you see him potentially factoring in this year or next?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      I have Evans on the Holds list that publishes Thursdays so he just missed out here. I feel like theres more hype here than actual “electricity” as his fastball sits around 91 MPH but his cutter/slider has been pretty good. I think he’s more of a late season or 2022 option though

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