The Hold Up 4/20: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

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

This will likely be José Alvarado’s last week on this list as it’s looking more and more likely that he is the Phillies’ closer at the moment. Not only has he been the team’s best reliever this season, but he’s arguably been a top 1-2 reliever in all of baseball to begin the year. A 62.1% K rate (obvious small sample warning) while not allowing a walk in his first 8.1 innings is far and away the best K/BB rate in the league so far. This is the same Alvarado who has a 14% walk rate for his 5+ year career. We don’t often talk about the Phillies turning around pitchers’ careers, but they’ve completely resurrected Alvarado, and perhaps Gregory Soto will be next.



  • There are currently 5 relievers (with at least 7 IPs) with Stuff+ over 140; Aroldis ChapmanRyan HelsleyEmmanuel ClaseGriffin Jax, and Félix Bautista. Jax is certainly a bit of a surprise to see in this group, but there’s no denying the upside here. Despite the great Stuff+ numbers, 5.53 PLV and 39.8% CSW%, Jax only has a 14.2% SwStr and 29% K rates. Both those numbers are good, but for someone with Jax’s stuff, I’d expect those numbers to grow even more.
  • Adam Ottavino may also be making a case to be on the closer list, but either way, he should see plenty of SV+HLDs moving forward. I think Robertson is still the preferred option of the two, but Ottavino, despite some not-so-great xStats (4.52 xFIP) should be able to help in at least 3 categories moving forward.


  • The one knock on Brusdar Graterol has never been about the quality of his stuff, it’s always been about the lack of swing and miss he generates as he’s never been a strikeout threat. Maybe that is changing as he’s rattled off 6 strikeouts over his past 3 outings, allowing just 1 hit and no walks in the process. He doesn’t throw it a lot, but Graterols slider has legit potential to be a strikeout offering.
  • Three impact relievers returned from the IL this week in Joe Mantiply, Brandon Hughes, and Lucas Sims. All three should get back into setup roles for their respective teams, with Mantiply and Hughes being high leverage lefty relievers, but Sims will be the wild card here. The Reds certainly could use some bullpen help, and Sims was once one of the better reliever ins the game, but he only made it through 6.2 IP last season dealing with a back injury.



Rank Pitcher Change
1José AlvaradoT1+3
2Aroldis Chapman-
3Giovanny Gallegos-
4Jason Adam-3
5Griffin Jax+9
6Erik Swanson
7James Karinchak-
8Adam Ottavino+2
9Bryan Abreu-4
10Michael King+1
11John Schreiber
12Trevor Stephan-4
13Seranthony Domínguez-1
14José Quijada+7
15Brusdar Graterol+9
16Joe Jiménez
17Rafael Montero-4
18Matt Brash-3
19Héctor Neris-2
20Kendall Graveman-2
21Matt Bush-2
22Nick Anderson-
23Jorge López-
24Luis Garcia+1
25Brooks Raley+1
26Steven Wilson
27Taylor Rogers+3
28Colin Holderman+3
29Tanner Scott+7
30Carl Edwards Jr.-2
31Caleb Thielbar+2
32Joe Mantiply+UR
33Matt Moore+4
34Drew Smith+9
35Dylan Floro+3
36Jimmy Herget+3
37Miguel Castro+3
38Will Smith+6
39Dylan Lee+7
40Jonathan Hernández+2
41Hunter Harvey
42Adbert Alzolay-13
43Gregory Soto+4
44Pierce Johnson+UR
45Brock Burke-10
46Yimi García-1
47Aaron Bummer-13
48Brandon Hughes+UR
49Eli Morgan-8
50Wandy Peralta-1
51Ron Marinaccio+4
52Zack Thompson+6
53Peter Strzelecki+7
54Yennier Cano+UR
55Mark Leiter Jr.+33
56Justin Lawrence
57Lucas Sims+UR
58Jason Foley+UR
59Danny Coulombe+UR
60Carlos Hernández-9
61Brad Boxberger+13
62Ryne Stanek-5
64Scott McGough-16
65Bryan Baker+18
66Jesse Chavez+23
67Cionel Pérez+1
68Garrett Cleavinger-14
69John Brebbia-10
70Alex Vesia-20
71Caleb Ferguson
72Tim Mayza-7
73Phil Maton-2
74Génesis Cabrera+UR
75Alex Young+UR
76Duane Underwood Jr.-10
77Colin Poche-16
78Jovani Moran-15
79Connor Brogdon-6
81Cole Ragans-1
83Emilio Pagán-14
84Diego Castillo-14
85Robert Stephenson+UR
86Enyel De Los Santos-8
87Keegan Thompson+UR
88Mason Thompson-3
89Penn Murfee-10
90Trevor Gott-8
91Aaron Loup-7
92Anthony Bass-39
93Yency Almonte-37
94Jordan Hicks-27
95Wil Crowe-33
96Kevin Ginkel-19
98Kyle Nelson-2
99Michael Rucker+UR
100Keegan Akin-3


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


Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter) inspired by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack 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.

2 responses to “The Hold Up 4/20: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Kingslayer says:

    Ron Marinaccio feels low.

  2. AstralSurfer11 says:

    Where’s Helsley on the list?

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