The Hold Up 4/5: Ranking the Top 80 Relievers for Holds

Rick Graham's weekly update of the relievers to own for Holds in 2018.

[holds_list season=”2018″ include_stats=”0″ list_id=”16513″]

Today we will take look at the updated non-closer reliever market as there are some changes to the list since our previous installment. Keep in mind, just because a player is ranked below another player (especially when in the same tier), that doesn’t mean you should rush to drop the higher ranked player. These rankings are mostly to be used on a tier by tier scale and apply towards the pitcher’s value for the rest of the season.

  • A few minor shakeups in the top tier, but for the most part this group (outside of Miller) is interchangeable. Archie Bradley has gotten off to a hot start (5.1 IP, 4 BB+H, 6 K’s, 3 HLD) so he gets a minor boost.
  • Brad Peacock is a new addition this week and someone I probably should have included in previous additions. He and Chad Green are similar in that they won’t see many hold chances, but they are great SP eligible relievers he rack up K’s and keep ratios low. They certainly have value in most 12 team leagues.
  • Dominic Leone is back in the Hold Up ranks with Greg Holland taking over the closer role next Monday. Leone had looked good up until giving up back to back HR’s to blow the game on Tuesday. Even still, I am buying him as a nice holds option, atleast until Luke Gregerson comes back. Jordan Hicks has been fantastic, but it’s still unclear what his role will be going forward.
  • Josh Fields, Joe Kelly and Adam Ottavino all get major bumps into the 4th tier this week. The first three move up based on usage, as they seem like their teams respective 8th inning set up options and should at least be competent. Ottavino though moves into this spot because he has just been dominant to start the year (8/1 K/BB and 0 hits in 3 IP), which is great to see after he fell off the map last season. The Rockies are using Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw as their primary set up options right now, but Ottavino should start seeing some higher leverage chances soon.
  • Kevin Jepsen is apparently the 1B to Keone Kela’s 1A on the Rangers closer depth chart, which comes as a surprise after Jepsen, 33, struggled mightily in AAA last year and didn’t see an MLB inning. His ceiling likely doesn’t justify his low floor, so for the time being, I’d stay way from Jepsen in all but the deepest of leagues.

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.

11 responses to “The Hold Up 4/5: Ranking the Top 80 Relievers for Holds”

  1. Ry says:

    Who are some SP designated pitchers that are or could become options for holds?

    • theKraken says:

      Perhaps this might be a bit difficult to determine based on SP eligibility standards?

      • Rick Graham says:

        A little bit. Yahoo and ESPN I know don’t have too many options. It’s really just Peacock, and Hicks could work his way into a setup role if he sticks around. Mike Montgomery could sneak in a few holds here and there too, but he’s not a reliable source.

        Fantrax I know lists Hader, Green and Adam Morgan as SP’s as well.

  2. Patrick says:

    No Gsellman?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Not yet, but so far he looks pretty good out of the bullpen. SP eligibility helps obviously because he’ll likely be just a long reliever when healthy.

  3. Daniel says:

    Couple of questions – what makes Kirby Yates so high? His team will most likely be losing a lot of games, equaling fewer holds opportunities. I get his numbers are exciting, but they aren’t much different from a guy like Matt Barnes.

    Also, any prediction for Amir Garrett, since he is being used out of the bullpen and has SP eligibility?

    • Rick Graham says:

      High strikeout upside mostly. The Padres unlikely to break 80 wins isn’t really a factor. The Rays were 2nd in save opportunities last season and the Marlins were 1st in 2016 while winning just 79 games. Regarding Barnes, as a Red Sox fan, it is just so hard to get excited about anyone in that bullpen not named Kimbrel. They are all just wildly inconsistent.

      I think Garrett has stuff that will play up in the bullpen, but for now it’s likely he’ll be used in a long role/mop up duty. He could become a really nice high leverage lefty reliever, but they have Peralta in that role already. Definitely watching Garrett and Gsellman though given their combination of SP eligibility and stuff to see if they can get consistent late inning work or at least work with the lead.

  4. scott says:

    I drafted pagan for holds, K, ratios. He has great control and was projected for 100K on Yahoo’s site. He was also higher ranked on other sites. The OAK bullpen is crowded after treinen. I am not sure what the actual pecking order is this early. Often times the best pitcher will work his way into more higher leverage situations. Would you rather own Fields?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Yea Yahoo’s projections for him I’ve noticed are a bit crazy but I think, like you said, Pagan will eventually work his way into a set up role based on his ability. Right now I’d rather own Fields though, as he seems next in line for saves in LA. Regardless, he should see plenty of hold chances and is coming off a nice season himself.

  5. Brett says:

    What’s your take on Gsellman?

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