The Hold Up 3/29: Ranking The Top 70 Relievers For Holds Every Week

Its been a month since our first hold rankings were revealed and while actual spring training stats don’t sway or deter me much, a lot has still happened which has created...

Its been a month since our first hold rankings were revealed and while actual spring training stats don’t sway or deter me much, a lot has still happened which has created a good amount of movement on this list. Remember, I am ranking these options roughly 60% based on talent, upside and statistics versus 40% based on hold opportunities. So for all of you in holds leagues, here is an updated list of the top setup men heading into 2017 MLB season.

TIER 1: Good Vibrations

1. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

2. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

No changes here. For the record, I don’t expect this tier to strictly feature Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances all year. I can see anyone from Tier 2 in here eventually or even someone like Carl Edwards Jr. Matt Strahm or Mychal Givens. These two are just more advanced in the K category and are locks to get plenty of hold chances.

TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You

3. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

4. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

5. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

6. Carter Capps (San Diego Padres)

7. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers

8. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

9. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)

10. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics

11. Shawn Kelley (Washington Nationals)

12. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies)

13. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

14. Grant Dayton (Los Angeles Dodgers

15. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

16. Derek Law (San Francisco Giants)

17. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

18. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates

19. Brett Cecil (St. Louis Cardinals)

20. Bruce Rondon (Detroit Tigers)

Addison Reed will begin the season as the Mets closer, but I will keep him on this list as the job is most assuredly Jeurys Familia’s when he returns. Shawn Kelley and Adam Ottavino land in tier 2, but both should still be plenty useful in holds leagues given their solid ratios and the fact they both may see some save chances throughout the year. Grant Dayton gets a bump as he seems to be far and away to most trustworthy option behind Kenly Jansen. Derek Law makes his way up a tier as the go to 8th inning man now with Will Smith needing Tommy John. I know Daniel Hudson is the listed co-closer with Tony Watson, but Felipe Rivero has great K upside and should be in line for a lot of hold opportunities.

TIER 3: Torn

21. Matt Strahm(Kansas City Royals)

22. Daniel Hudson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

23. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

24. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

25. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

26. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

27. Blake Treinen (Washington Nationals)

28. Koji Uehara (Chicago Cubs)

29. Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays)

30. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

31. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)

32. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

33. Santiago Casilla (Oakland Athletics)

34. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

35. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs

36. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)

37. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)

38. Tyler Clippard (New York Yankees)

I was close to puting Matt Strahm in the previous tier, I just want to make sure he gets the ball prior to Kelvin Herrera more than Joakim Soria, which it should. Daniel Hudson and Michael Lorenzen are both locked into closer committee gigs, which is annoying and definitely not ideal to predict possible saves or holds for each. Hudson is still a very interesting case, as he is the trusted late inning RH in Pittsburgh. Lorenzen may have the most upside in that bullpen but is having a poor spring that has the Reds thinking about using him as a pinch hit or pinch run option, which can’t be a good thing (see: Micah Owings). The primary set-up man for the Cub’s is still a bit of a mystery, but they could realistically win 100+ games which could give value to 5 relievers in save+holds leagues. Blake Treinen moves up to tier 3, but could end up even higher in a week or so, or possibly even off this list entirely if he gets the closer job. At this point, it’s about 50/50 he does, so he is definitely an interesting waiver add or late round draft and stash, just until we see how things play out in Washington. Hunter Strickland gets a bit of a boost as the definite 3rd in line bullpen option in San Francisco. Xavier Cedeno is a sneaky good holds bet with Brad Boxberger starting the year on the DL.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

39. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

40. Sergio Romo (Los Angeles Dodgers)

41. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres

42. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

43. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)

44. Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

45. Andrew Bailey (Los Angeles Angels)

46. Joe Kelly (Boston Red Sox)

47. Jeremy Jeffress (Texas Rangers)

48. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

49. Joaquin Benoit (Philadelphia Phillies)

50. Cory Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

51. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

52. David Phelps(Miami Marlins)

53. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

54. Sammy Solis (Washington Nationals)

Ryan Buchter and Brad Hand may not rack up a lot of holds, but their ratios and K rates make them worth owning in deep leagues. Joe Kelly is the primary 8th inning guy to start the season for the Red Sox. As a Sox fan, this worries be greatly. There is some reason for hope, as he has been a much better pitcher out of the pen in his career and does have legitimate swing and miss stuff for the later innings. Bryan Shaw and Ryan Dull make their way up the list here, as I was admittedly a bit tough on them a month ago. They will see hold opportunities but the peripherals aren’t anything to write home about. Sammy Solis makes a little bit of a jump here as I feel he has to earn some holds giving that he is the Nationals best left-handed bullpen option.

TIER 5: There She Goes

55. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros)

56. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

57. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

58. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

59. Joe Blanton (Washington Nationals)

60. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

61. JP Howell (Toronto Blue Jays

62. Pat Neshek (Philadelphia Phillies)

63. Ian Krol (Atlanta Braves)

64. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

65. Edubray Ramos (Philadelphia Phillies)

66. Dan Otero (Cleveland Indians)

67. Joe Biagini (Toronto Blue Jays)

68. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers)

69. Evan Scribner (Seattle Mariners)

70. Michael Feliz (Houston Astros)

The 2 Astros who start and end this tier, Chris Devenski and Michael Feliz, may not get many holds, but both can be good for ratios potentially and definitely K’s. I nor does anyone outside of the Cardinals organization know what Trevor Rosenthal’s role will be exactly. Joe Blanton makes his debut on the list after signing with the Nationals. He should figure into some sort of 7th inning role. Pat Neshek is coming off a strong WBC campaign an should find himself in a high leverage role despite being in a deep bullpen. Ian Krol debuts on this list with Mauricio Cabrera injured and is a fine if unspectacular deep league option. Juan Nicasio and Edubray Ramos are interesting names to watch, as some of their peripheral numbers suggest they could excel in a late inning role.

Disabled List

Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners)

Jake Diekman (Texas Rangers)

Glenn Perkins (Minnesota Twins

Carson Smith (Boston Red Sox)

Jake Barrett (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

Houston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Tyler Thornburg (Boston Red Sox)

Mauricio Cabrera (Atlanta Braves)

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.

7 responses to “The Hold Up 3/29: Ranking The Top 70 Relievers For Holds Every Week”

  1. wags says:

    I’ve seen some outlets that are pretty high on Ryan Pressly. What’s your take on him?

  2. Rick Graham says:

    I put some thought into placing him towards the bottom of the list, as he is the de facto set up man, but I would rather stay away from the Twins for now untill we see how things shake out over the first couple of weeks.

  3. DShea says:

    Capps is scheduled to start the season on the 10 day DL

  4. Dead man's arm says:

    Why is derek law ranked so much higher than hunter Strickland? I have found no reports that indicate law will be used in the 8th, quite the contrary actually that most resources reference the latter to be the 8th inning guy.

  5. KP says:

    Just found your site this past week, wish I knew about it going into my draft! I’d like to shore up my non-existent relief (punted it in my auction and only have Barraclough and Neris) in a 10 team Saves+Holds H2H league, 4 RP spots. Trying to find a way to pickup Capps and stash him on my DL and then pickup either Gregerson or Ottavino as another RP. I have to drop someone though to start that process. Would you drop any of these guys to make those two moves possible?

    OF: Buxton, Brad Miller
    SP: Roark, Nola, Keuchel, Shoemaker Manaea, McCullers (starters are deGrom, Darvish, Hill, Lackey)

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Nick Pollack says:

    Hey there! Glad you like the site and hope to see you around during the year.

    Well, in a 10 teamer, you don’t need 10 starters on your team. I like all of the ones you own, but you’d be fine without Shoemaker as you make these moves.

    • KP says:

      Awesome, thank you for the quick reply. I definitely went overboard with all my SP’s, not sure what kind of strategy I was attempting as I look at the results now.

      Got your site bookmarked, looking forward to reading the updates. Thanks again.

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