The Hold Up 4/13: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2023 season.

Trevor Stephan has been an interesting case to follow these first two weeks, as he’s been thriving while not being his usual self. Stephan currently holds a 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 26% K rate over his first seven innings of work. That looks great, but it comes with just 25.5% CSW and 10% SwStr rates while his fastball velo is down 2.7 mph from last season. Perhaps he can get away with this or perhaps he will regress closer to his 5.18 xERA, or perhaps he will get his velo back in the coming weeks.

Emmanuel Clase has not been his usual self to start the season, and while it’s still early, of course, I am concerned with some of the things I saw in his last outing. I think at this point, Stephan might still be worth a look in save-only leagues as well as leagues that count holds, but I think I’d prefer to stash James Karinchak, if anyone, in that bullpen.



  • Seranthony Domínguez has not gotten off to the start that he or the Phillies had hoped for, and while obviously the 13.50 ERA and 2.79 WHIP are concerning, the inability to miss bats right now is what is worrying me the most. His 10.3% K and 28.4% CSW rates are well below the league average for relievers and he currently has more walks than strikeouts. The velocity is still the same as it was last year, but his slider hasn’t been as effective, with his command being all over the place. I’m not giving up hope yet, but I’d like to see some positive signs here by the end of the month.
  • Jorge López and Griffin Jax have emerged as the top two setup options in front closer Jhoan Duran, and while Jax has picked up from where he left off last year (and then some), it’s nice seeing López get off to a great start considering how his season ended once going to Minnesota late last season. I still like Jax better in the long run (more swing-and-miss potential) but both can be rostered in holds leagues at the moment.


  • José Quijada may be emerging as one of those lefty relievers (Jake McGee, Colin Poche, Sean Doolittle, and for a bit, Josh Hader are others that come to mind) who can not only get away with but thrive while basically only having a low-mid 90’s fastball. His changeup (thrown less than 10% of the time) does its job, and the slider (under 5% usage) is more or less just a show-me pitch. Nevertheless, Quijada is living at the top of the zone with his fastball and may now be the top setup option for the Angels while inching closer to a closer timeshare with Carlos Estévez.
  • The trio of Colin Holderman, Nick Anderson, and Steven Wilson were all big movers on the list last week, and are once again this week. Anderson’s velo may be down two ticks from his prime years, but he’s still finding ways to miss bats, currently holding 21.2% SwStr and 43.5% CSW rates. Holderman isn’t getting swings and misses yet, but his stuff suggests that it’s just a matter of time. And despite a high walk rate, Wilson is an intriguing option once again, as his slider helped lead him to a 41.4% K rate to begin the year.


  • Taylor Rogers has gotten off to a brutal start with his new team, and the Giants may have no choice but to remove him from high-leverage situations for the time being. Not that he has even been pitching in those spots, as he has just one hold on the year so far. The pitch clock seems to be getting to him, as he’s had multiple violations so far and his command has been all over the place. I still believe in Rogers and have some hope, but feel free to drop him for now if more interesting options are available.
  • Jimmy Herget is a fine reliever, but nothing really sticks out to keep him any higher on the list as things currently stand. Quijada seems to be the next in line for closer duties, with Matt Moore having a high-leverage role as well, leaving Herget in that secondary setup mix. That can be useful, but just don’t expect a lot of strikeout help from the pitch to contact Herget.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Jason AdamT1+2
2Aroldis Chapman+6
3Giovanny Gallegos+6
4José Alvarado-
5Bryan Abreu+2
6Erik Swanson+4
7James Karinchak+4
8Trevor Stephan-2
9John Schreiber+3
10Adam Ottavino+8
11Michael King
12Seranthony Domínguez-7
13Rafael Montero+2
14Griffin Jax+10
15Matt Brash+8
16Joe Jiménez-2
17Héctor Neris-
18Kendall Graveman+7
19Matt Bush+1
20Chris Martin-1
21José Quijada
22Nick Anderson+29
23Jorge López+12
24Brusdar Graterol+UR
25Luis Garcia+3
26Brooks Raley-
27Hunter Harvey+5
28Carl Edwards Jr.+10
29Adbert Alzolay+4
30Taylor Rogers-14
31Colin Holderman
32Steven Wilson+18
33Caleb Thielbar-3
34Aaron Bummer-3
35Brock Burke+1
36Tanner Scott+3
37Matt Moore-
38Dylan Floro+6
39Jimmy Herget-10
40Miguel Castro+7
41Eli Morgan
42Jonathan Hernández-8
43Drew Smith+5
44Will Smith-4
45Yimi García+31
46Dylan Lee+6
47Gregory Soto+12
48Scott McGough+UR
49Wandy Peralta+14
50Alex Vesia-28
51Carlos Hernández
52Justin Lawrence+17
53Anthony Bass-12
54Garrett Cleavinger-9
55Ron Marinaccio+2
56Yency Almonte-10
57Ryne Stanek-1
58Zack Thompson+10
59John Brebbia+3
60Peter Strzelecki+10
61Colin Poche
62Wil Crowe+15
63Jovani Moran-8
64Caleb Ferguson-3
65Tim Mayza-1
66Duane Underwood Jr.-
67Jordan Hicks-
68Cionel Pérez-3
69Emilio Pagán+3
70Diego Castillo+5
71Phil Maton+8
72Ryan Tepera+1
73Connor Brogdon+1
74Brad Boxberger+8
75Jalen Beeks+5
77Kevin Ginkel+6
78Enyel De Los Santos-
79Penn Murfee+11
80Cole Ragans+16
82Trevor Gott+UR
83Bryan Baker+UR
84Aaron Loup+UR
85Mason Thompson+13
86John Curtiss+UR
88Mark Leiter Jr.+UR
89Jesse Chavez+UR
90Andre Pallante-9
91Adam Cimber+2
92Zach Jackson+3
93Brent Suter+UR
94Phil Bickford+UR
95Andrew Nardi+UR
96Kyle Nelson+UR
97Keegan Akin-11
100Shelby Miller-13


If you would like more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series.

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.

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