The Hold Up 5/5: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's top setup options for the 2021 season.

J.P. Feyereisen has been one of the best non-closer relievers in baseball to start the 2021 season, becoming the next in a continuous line of high-quality relievers in this Brewers system. While the righty isn’t a flamethrower by any means with a fastball that sits around 93-94, his two offspeed offerings have been brilliant, even going back to last year during his short six-game stint with the team. His slider, which he throws a little over 37% of the time, has a whiff rate a tad over 40% over 126 thrown the past two seasons and generates a spin rate over 2850 RPM’s.

However, it’s his lesser thrown offspeed pitch that has shown immense potential, possibly rivaling that of his teammate Devin Williams changeup. It may not have the same type of movement, but Feyereisen’s changeup has a 66% whiff rate. Granted on only 73 thrown the past two seasons, but the pitch has been devastating to left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters alike. He currently is utilizing the pitch about 20% of the time, a number that could probably rise with continued success. The Brewers bullpen is deep, but Feyereisen has worked himself into a setup role and seems likely to be a mainstay.




  • Pete Fairbanks returned from the IL yesterday, however, Diego Castillo was placed on the IL in a corresponding move as the two essentially swapped spots and roles. Jeffrey Springs wound up with a four-out save last night, but Fairbanks was up and warming in the 9th inning, perhaps if Springs ran into any trouble. The Rays may go back to mixing and matching in the 9th with Castillo out, but Fairbanks should be considered the favorite for save chances in the short term.
  • Assuming his rehab assignments go well, Chris Martin should return early next week and will be a welcome sight for the Braves who severely lack right-handed reliever depth at the moment. He shouldn’t be any threat to Will Smith in the 9th, but Martin should take some setup work from AJ Minter and Tyler Matzek upon returning.
  • It’s been a nightmarish 2021 for Tanner Rainey but let’s hope that allowing a grand slam to an opposing pitcher is rock bottom and it’s only up from here. I’m pretty shocked that he has yet to be placed on the IL as clearly something is wrong since his velocity is still down as he is averaging 95 MPH on his fastball, not his usual 97-98. It’s great that he is trying to pitch through the issue, but I think for everyone involved it’d be best for him to go on the IL and figure out how to fix what’s ailing him. But as long as he is on the active roster, it’s really hard to just give up on him knowing the type of upside he provides when he’s at full strength.
  • Sam Coonrod has been an incredible find by the Phillies, as the hard-throwing reliever continues to impress, even picking up two saves over the past week as the team gives closer Héctor Neris some rest. Coonrod lives by his upper 90’s fastball that can touch 100 on the radar but the jury is still out on his offspeed offerings, which have had mixed results this year and in the past.
  • After a strong start to the season, Hansel Robles has fallen off a bit, but that seems to be how all the Twins’ relievers are trending. For Robles though, the past three weeks have been very mediocre, at best and I wonder if he’s still too high up on the list. During that three-week span, Robles has allowed six hits, five earned runs, and has a 6/4 K/BB rate over 7.1 innings pitched.
  • David Phelps was originally supposed to crack the top 50 this week but he left yesterday’s game before even throwing a pitch and will likely be placed on the IL with a shoulder injury. In that event, the Jays will continue to turn to Tyler Chatwood and Ryan Borucki in high leverage spots.


Rank Pitcher Change
1James KarinchakT1-
2Giovanny Gallegos+1
3Drew Pomeranz-1
4Devin Williams-
5Chad Green
6Trevor May+1
7Jake Diekman+1
8Blake Treinen+2
9Lucas Sims-4
10Kendall Graveman+2
11J.P. Feyereisen
12Jordan Romano-3
13Pete Fairbanks+UR
14José Alvarado-3
15Tejay Antone+1
16Michael Kopech+1
18Victor González+1
19Scott Barlow-6
20Tyler Duffey-6
21Aaron Bummer-
22Jonathan Loáisiga
24Joely Rodríguez+2
25Codi Heuer-3
26Emilio Pagán-6
27Ryne Stanek+7
28Chris Martin+UR
29Adam Ottavino-5
30Miguel Castro-5
31Austin Adams+7
32A.J. Minter+1
33Tanner Rainey
34Tanner Scott-2
35Sam Coonrod+31
36Garrett Whitlock+7
37Andrew Chafin+4
38Sam Howard+1
39Tyler Matzek+3
40Dylan Floro+4
41Hansel Robles-10
42Mychal Givens-7
43Sean Doolittle-7
44Kevin Ginkel-7
45Daniel Hudson-5
46Pierce Johnson+5
47Will Harris+UR
48Wander Suero+UR
49Brent Suter
50Yusmeiro Petit+4
51Keone Kela+UR
52Kyle Crick+24
54Chris Rodriguez+4
55Andrew Kittredge+1
56Ryan Thompson-1
57Tyler Chatwood+31
58Jeffrey Springs+9
59Caleb Thielbar+5
60Darwinzon Hernández+1
61Paul Fry+9
62Anthony Misiewicz-3
63Rex Brothers+6
64Tim Hill+UR
65Brooks Raley-
66Connor Brogdon
67Bryan Shaw+18
68Ryan Tepera+UR
69Ryan Borucki+14
70Jeurys Familia+UR
71Brad Boxberger+15
72Joakim Soria+UR
74Robert Stephenson-1
75Josh Sborz+UR
76Lucas Luetge+UR
77Jake Brentz+3
78Jimmy Nelson+UR
79Luis Cessa+2
80Génesis Cabrera-1
81John Curtiss+1
82Hunter Strickland+2
83David Bednar+UR
84Matt Wisler+UR
85Wandy Peralta+UR
86Hirokazu Sawamura-11
87Craig Stammen+UR
88Ryan Helsley+UR
90Alex Colomé+UR


Photo by Keith Gillett/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.

3 responses to “The Hold Up 5/5: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Andrew S says:

    Dropped Rainey yesterday actually to make room for Fairbanks returning from the IL. I don’t keep more than 6 relievers on my roster (except in rare circumstances). Others I have are: Edwin Diaz, Duffey, Victor Gonzalez, Joely Rodriguez, and Trivino. I was shocked at how easily I came to the decision. Hoping he can figure something out or go on the IL so I can stash because he’s been brutal.

  2. Soxfan says:

    Why still so high on Heuer? The results lately have been brutal.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Results havn’t been ideal but he’s still getting a ton of whiffs (17.8% SwStr is 11th best among RP’s) and not walking anyone. He’s just dealing with bad luck right now (.474 BABIP).

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