The Hold Up 4/21: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2022 season.

Dodgers top set up man Blake Treinen has been shut down due to an arm issue, as his arm was reportedly “barking” after his last appearance. This is obviously not ideal news for those of you rostering Treinen, but it does sound like he will avoid an IL stint (for now). The (for now) is key here, as the Dodgers typically would give someone like him a full ten days of rest so it must really be minor then. Even so, it’s worrisome that he is having arm issues this early in the season, so it’s a situation to closely monitor for now.




  • Lucas Sims is due back this weekend and should immediately slide into some sort of high leverage role, whether it be as the team’s closer or not shouldn’t matter to those of you in holds leagues. The holds/set up realm is off to a bit of a lackluster start, so I have Sims ranked aggressively high to start, as there just aren’t a whole lot of non-closer relievers at the moment with the upside he possesses (when healthy).


  • It looks like the Royals will be using both Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont in the 8th or 9th inning, and while I still prefer Barlow overall, Staumonts recent usage (and early season success) boosts him up the list. It’s likely going to be an ever-changing situation so be sure to check out our daily Reliever Ranks column to get all the latest reliever updates every morning.


  • Matt Wisler has gotten off to a fine start this season, but his usage is a bit concerning, especially considering the number of injuries the Rays are dealing with in their bullpen at the moment. Wisler was used as an opener this past week and has just one hold so far to begin the year.


  • The Giants continue to shuffle things in the back of their bullpen as well, with Jake McGee and not Camilo Doval coming on for the save last night. I don’t think this is quite like the Rays/Mariners situation, but more like the Royals with the two of them each splitting save chances although I’d expect Doval to get more than 50% of the opportunities.


  • Jake Diekman returns to the list as the Red Sox three-headed closer committee continues. Alex Cora has hinted at Matt Barnes being close to returning to the closer role but I’m not so sure that makes the most sense at the moment. Either way, Diekman should play a large role as the Sox top lefty reliever and is worth a look in most holds formats.


  • Steven Wilson appears to have a clear hold on a setup role in San Diego for the time being, passing Robert Suarez on the depth chart and Dinelson Lamet. This bullpen in general is in flux with the return of Luis García as well, so I’m sure we will see more rearranging here as the weeks go by. Wilson though makes his debut on the list as he’s been dominant over his first 6+ innings this season but it’s obviously a small sample.


  • Anthony Gose is off to a nice start this season, but his velocity is down quite a bit from last year. It still seems to be effective, however, and if the lowered velocity leads to more strikes then I’m all for it. Now hopefully he starts seeing more hold opportunities.


  • Anyone in the Rockies bullpen is always tough to recommend given where they play half of their games, so I have the top trio of “next in line” options their stack together from 70-72. I still prefer Robert Stephenson given his swing and miss ability but Tyler Kinley has also gotten off to a hot start this year, and currently has a 63.6% Whiff rate on his slider while throwing it 48.2% of the time (again, SUPER small sample size warning).


Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Diego Castillo+1
3Lucas Sims+UR
4Jonathan Loáisiga-
5Aaron Bummer+1
6Will Smith+1
7Blake Treinen-2
8Ryan Tepera
9Chad Green-
10Kendall Graveman-
11Garrett Whitlock-
12Josh Staumont+19
13Daniel Hudson-
14Clay Holmes+4
15Michael Fulmer+7
17Brooks Raley-3
18Matt Wisler-6
19Collin McHugh-4
20Tim Mayza-3
21Aaron Loup-1
22Phil Maton-3
23J.P. Feyereisen-
24Tyler Matzek-
25Seth Lugo-4
26Andrés Muñoz+2
27Pierce Johnson+2
28Jake McGee+4
29Jake Diekman+UR
30Trevor May-
31Seranthony Domínguez
32Alex Vesia-7
33Jake Cousins-7
34Nick Sandlin-1
35Brad Boxberger-
36A.J. Minter-
37Mychal Givens+1
38Ryan Helsley+1
39Luis García+UR
40Spencer Strider-
41Dylan Coleman-
42Steven Wilson+UR
43Cristian Javier-
44Emilio Pagán-
45José Alvarado-
46Brusdar Graterol-
47Yimi García+11
48Tanner Scott-
49Génesis Cabrera-
50Dinelson Lamet-13
51Matt Barnes
52Anthony Gose+11
53Cole Sulser-6
54Robert Suarez-20
55Tyler Duffey-3
57Ryne Stanek-3
58Joely Rodríguez-3
60Richard Bleier-3
61Drew Steckenrider+4
62Brad Hand+4
63Trevor Richards+4
64Kyle Finnegan+4
65Miguel Castro+4
66Drew Smith-7
67A.J. Puk-5
68Dominic Leone-4
69Michael King+UR
70Víctor Arano+UR
71Robert Stephenson+UR
72Alex Colomé
73Tyler Kinley+UR
74Ryan Thompson+UR
75Austin Warren-15
76Julian Merryweather-15
77Alex Lange-2
78Rowan Wick-7
79Adam Cimber+4
80Tony Santillan-38
81Jeurys Familia-11
82Domingo Acevedo-10
83Matt Strahm-9
84Ryan Brasier-7
85Chasen Shreve+2
86Adam Ottavino-7
87Bryan Shaw-6
88Ian Kennedy-6
89Chris Stratton-4
90Dillon Tate+2
91Jake Brentz-15
92Jarlín García-8
93Anthony Misiewicz-7
94Brett Martin-6
96Lucas Luetge-1
97Félix Bautista+1
98Blake Taylor-7
99Tim Hill-6
100Wandy Peralta-3


Photo by Joe Robbins/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.

5 responses to “The Hold Up 4/21: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. TJ says:

    Where do you rank Jhoan Duran in all of this?

  2. Chad Banks says:

    I never understand these rankings honestly. Yimi is the setup guy in Toronto for one thing. Holmes has probably passed Loaisiga, Loaisiga is probably too high in general. Duran definitely should be on there. The airbender is a holds machine but has been awful in general. Helsley beast. Obviously these list are hard but the pitcherlist ranks seem slow to make any changes.

    • Rick Graham says:

      I get that it can be hard to stay patient, especially early in the year, but most of these guys only have ~5 innings pitched so far. I’d prefer bigger sample sizes before making drastic changes. Helsley and García have moved up based on usage, with usage being the biggest driving force behind change in these rankings just 2 weeks into the season.

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