Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 8/21

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

I said it yesterday but it’s worth repeating, Devin Williams fastball/changeup combo has been fantastic this season, leading to 48.8% K and 20.4% SwStr rates. Why the big improvement from last season? Well, it could be that his fastball velocity has remained the same while his changeup has lost 2 MPH and gained 8 inches of vertical drop. The pitch has literally been unhittable while racking up 14 K’s with a 60% Whiff rate. Overall, he is the 99th percentile of pitchers in Whiff rate, K%, and xBA while a .232 xWOBA ain’t too shabby either.

 

Notes

 

  • Drew Pomeranz has been unavailable the past few games due to some shoulder tightness, which is obviously a huge concern. For now, he is day to day, but these things almost never end well and for the Padres sake, they really can’t afford to lose him.

 

  • I’m not too concerned with Rafael Montero’s outing the other night that resulted in a Manny Machado grand slam. I am worried about how Chris Woodward uses his bullpen, however, as Montero shouldn’t have been in there to throw 42 pitches.

 

  • Andrew Miller is back to being a full-time closer for the first time since 2015, but he’s still not back to his 2015 self. He’s been fine since the team came back from their COVID hiatus, and the lowered walk rate is great to see, but lower velocity is somewhat of a concern.

 

  • Nick Anderson, Brad Hand, and Sergio Romo all had 3 SV+HLD this past week to lead the league. Romo continues to impress despite topping out at 85 MPH. He’s had success throwing his slider 72% of the time and while it’s not impossible to live like this, it could be very hard to sustain the deeper we go into the season. That .118 BABIP will rise.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Nick Anderson+2
3Aroldis Chapman+7
4Liam Hendriks-2
5Drew Pomeranz-2
6Tyler Duffey
T2
-1
7James Karinchak+6
8Kenley Jansen+1
9Chad Green+7
10Tanner Rainey+11
11Giovanny Gallegos+3
12Edwin Diaz-1
13Will Smith-1
14Joakim Soria+4
15Blake Treinen+5
16Sergio Romo
T3
+14
17Jordan Romano+5
18Alex Colome+8
19Taylor Rogers-12
20Ryan Pressly+11
21Brad Hand+11
22Raisel Iglesias-3
23Scott Barlow+12
24Trevor Rosenthal+12
25Rafael Montero+12
26Matt Barnes
T4
+1
27Diego Castillo+13
28Mark Melancon+5
29Andrew Miller+42
30Brandon Workman-6
31David Phelps+13
32Jonathan Hernandez+16
33Archie Bradley-8
34Will Harris+16
35Devin Williams+UR
36Adam Ottavino
T5
+2
37Ty Buttrey+5
38Carlos Estevez+9
39Pedro Baez-11
40Rowan Wick-1
41Evan Marshall+4
42Emilio Pagan-25
43Justin Wilson+15
44Jeremy Jeffress+2
45Hector Neris-22
46Daniel Hudson-17
47Caleb Ferguson-6
48Trevor May+15
49Yusmeiro Petit+5
50John Gant+15
51Amir Garrett+11
52Anthony Bass
T6
-1
53Jake Diekman+11
54Gregory Soto+1
55Chaz Roe+12
56Shane Greene+14
57Chris Martin+19
58Ken Giles+3
59Aaron Bummer+7
60Zack Britton-45
61Mychal Givens+18
62Dellin Betances-10
63Nick Wittgren+6
64Tyler Clippard+4
65Craig Kimbrel+UR
66Keone Kela-9
67Felix Pena
T7
-24
68Freddy Peralta-12
69Josh James+UR
70Joe Jimenez-36
71Ryan Helsley+4
72Richard Rodriguez+20
73Javy Guerra-1
74Brandon Kintzler-14
75Oliver Drake+10
76Buck Farmer+11
77Tyler Rogers-
78Craig Stammen+12
79Tony Watson+UR
80Josh Staumont+UR
81Adam Morgan+13
82Matt Strahm+16
83Cole Sulser
T8
+1
84Blake Taylor+7
85Taylor Williams+4
86Oliver Perez-6
87A.J. Minter+6
88Ian Kennedy-2
89Hansel Robles+UR
90Nate Jones+UR
91Daniel Bard+UR
92Codi Heuer+UR
93Lucas Sims+UR
94Alex Reyes+UR
95Jalen Beeks+UR
96Tanner Scott+UR
97Brent Suter+UR
98Brusdar Graterol-10
99Wander Suero-
100Keynan Middleton-5

 

Photo by Gregory Fisher/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 Ian says:

    Hey rick! Thoughts on the cubs bullpen from a long term perspective. How would you rank their values?

    • Rick Graham Rick Graham says:

      Depends on Kimbrel. The past two performances have been great, but can we trust him to command his curveball consistently going forward. He definitely has the most upside of that group, but I still like Wick. Nothing flashy, just a solid out getter.

  • Avatar Magnus says:

    What’s keeping McGee (LAD) off the list?

    • Rick Graham Rick Graham says:

      Only 2 holds, and his fastball velo is up 2 MPH, but he also relies on the pitch almost exclusively. If he starts seeing high leverage situations and succeeding, he’ll be on the list. I’ve liked McGee in the past, just not sure if this resurgence will amount to much fantasy value in a deep Dodgers bullpen.

  • Avatar Boom says:

    D Williams honestly deserves to be in T2. I would own him, and DO, over most of the guys there with the exception of Duff & Karinchak.

    • Rick Graham Rick Graham says:

      I know it’s a short season, but I’d still like to see more of a sample size first. Rainey showed promise last season, Romano had a huge velo boost this season. Williams changes look great, but he’s also more of a left-handed specialist (despite being right-handed) and I wonder how the fastball/change combo works against right-handed hitters moving forward. He’s only thrown 7 cutters.

  • Avatar RC says:

    I would not drop Liam Hendricks two spots to #4. Not sure how much you have watched him this year but the guy has been superb. He leads the league in saves. Has a 1.35 ERA, 13.5 K/9 and a 0.75 WHIP. Additionally, he has a rock solid stable position as closer with terrific set up men and an overall team that has a great record. Not to mention several gold glove defenders behind him with at least half his games in a pitchers park. Not an A’s fan but no way the guys in front of him are better options in the future or through the first portion of this short season.

    For example, Hader is the consensus #1 for many people. Here is why I would not put Hader #1. He has seen a tremendous drop in velo this season and we do not know why. It worries me that his past usage in frequency and covering multiple innings may be catching up with him. His fastball and slider were tremendous pitches last year, now he seems to be reliant on the slider which is still devastating. What will happen on the nights when his wipe out slider is not working? Can he get his fastball by hitters? The Brewers have more questions that need to be resolved as a team hence their 11-12 record vs the 18-8 record for the A’s. Many more save opportunities for Hendricks. I am not saying Hader is not elite, I am simply saying there is no factual data that supports being #1 looking at this years information.

    The TBR’s bullpen has a great deal of uncertainty about how Nick Anderson will be used on any given day which makes it hard to pin point what Anderson’s value should be. Aroldis Chapman has not seen a save opportunity yet this season. I would like to see him work 2 or 3 high leverage situations before I would give him a #3 rank. When he is in top form he could easily slot in there. Still a good deal of uncertainty ahead as he works back from illness. In a year when some of the top RP’s have been rocked pretty hard, stability and clarity of their role on the team has a great deal of value to me.

    • Rick Graham Rick Graham says:

      Hendriks dropped because Chapman is healthy and Anderson is picking up where he left off last season.

      Hader’s velocity is down 1 MPH but he is throwing his slider more and having more success with it. For now, that drop in velo isn’t a concern.

      Even if he isn’t closing, Anderson will still get plenty of holds, possibly some wins. Not worried about his usage.

      Unfair to say Chapman hasn’t seen a save opportunity this season when he just came back and the guy he is replacing was leading the league in saves. Hendriks has 3 saves in the past 2 weeks which isn’t exactly great.

      The reason they are all in this tier is that they basically have the same value. I didn’t drop Hendriks, it’s just that I like two guys slightly better than him but when it comes to trade value, I see them as equal.

  • Avatar Matt says:

    If you’re looking for 2-3 guys to take a leap into T2 or T3 by the end of the season, who has the tools and opportunity?

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