The Hold-Up 5/26: Ranking The Top 60 Relievers For Holds Every Thursday

Thursday has arrived and with it comes updated setup men rankings. This is a great day for hold leagues, and therefore the world. These rankings are an attempt at quantifying...

Thursday has arrived and with it comes updated setup men rankings. This is a great day for hold leagues, and therefore the world. These rankings are an attempt at quantifying a mixture of both short term and rest of season value. The formula isn’t concrete but it considers general ratio and strikeout potential + pure hold totals and potential. Holds are pretty volatile so in most cases your best bet is to focus on ratios, take advantage of the RP + P slots by rolling out a hefty number of setup men, and let the holds naturally trickle in. Managers should always make decisions and alter this list based on their specific league setup. 

Please do share your questions and critiques in the comments. Follow me on twitter @HisDudenessOfNY for the rare tweet regarding secondary players most people don’t care about and the occasional timely injury news snippet. 


1. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

2. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

3. Tony Watson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

4. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

5. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

6. Will Harris (Houston Astros)

7. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

8. Jake Diekman (Texas Rangers)

9. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)


10. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

11. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

12. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)

13. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)

14. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

15. Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

16. Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox)

17. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

18. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

19. Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

20. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

21. Joaquin Benoit (Seattle Mariners)


22. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

23. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

24. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

25. Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox)

26. David Hernandez (Philadelphia Phillies)

27. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

28. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres)

29. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

30. Neftali Feliz (Pittsburgh Pirates)

31. Fernando Salas (Los Angeles Angels)

32. Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)

33. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

34. Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals)

35. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)

36. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

37. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

38. Josh Osich (San Francisco Giants)


39. Fernando Rodriguez (Oakland Athletics)

40. Shawn Kelley (Washington Nationals)

41. Matt Albers (Chicago White Sox)

42. Tyler Thornburg (Milwaukee Brewers)

43. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

44. Miguel Castro (Colorado Rockies)

45. Pat Neshek (Houston Astros)

46. Joel Peralta (Seattle Mariners)

47. Mark Lowe (Detroit Tigers)

48. Tyler Clippard (Arizona Diamondbacks)

49. Cory Gearrin (San Francisco Giants)

50. Vidal Nuno (Seattle Mariners)

51. Fernando Abad (Minnesota Twins)

52. Erasmo Ramirez (Tampa Bay Rays)

53. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

54. Adam Warren (Chicago Cubs)


55. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

56. Michael Blazek (Milwaukee Brewers)

57. Zach Duke (Chicago White Sox)

58. Carlos Estévez (Colorado Rockies)

59. Jerry Blevins (New York Mets)

60. Oliver Perez (Washington Nationals)

61. Jim Henderson (New York Mets)

62. Gavin Floyd (Toronto Blue Jays)

63. Xavier Cedeño (Tampa Bay Rays)

64. Blake Treinen (Washington Nationals)

65. John Axford (Oakland Athletics)

66. Enny Romero (Tampa Bay Rays)

66. Zach McAllister (Cleveland Indians)

67. Louis Coleman (Los Angeles Dodgers)


68. Jonathan Broxton (St. Louis Cardinals)

69. Andrew Bailey (Philadelphia Phillies)

70. Drew Storen (Toronto Blue Jays)

71. Kevin Quackenbush (San Diego Padres)

72. Jose Alvarez (Los Angeles Angels)

73. Trevor May (Minnesota Twins)

74. Shawn Tolleson (Texas Rangers)

75. Derek Law (San Francisco Giants)

75. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

75. Antonio Bastardo (New York Mets)

77. Bryan Morris (Miami Marlins)

78. Mike Morin (Los Angeles Angels)

79. Justin Grimm (Chicago Cubs)

80. Adam Liberatore (Los Angeles Dodgers)

81. Greg Mahle (Los Angeles Angels)

82. Andrew Chafin (Arizona Diamondbacks)

83. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds)

84. Ross Ohlendorf (Cincinnati Reds)

85. Tony Sipp (Houston Astros)


Sergio Romo (San Francisco Giants)

– Yimi Garcia (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)

Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)

Mike Dunn (Miami Marlins)

Brett Cecil (Toronto Blue Jays)


Jake Diekman leads the league in holds and unless Matt Bush really forces the issue he should get almost every hold in Texas. Stud power lefty.

Felipe Rivero had a quick hiatus down in the gutter but he has 5 holds the last couple weeks and the ratio/strikeout upside is still there.

Ken Giles finally settling down. Supposedly he fixed a mechanical flaw.

– I know Kevin Siegrist still doesn’t have many holds but the opps will come.

Carson Smith is getting TJ, which bumps up Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa a bit.

Fernando Salas has been shadily dominant. Huston Street should be back soon and Joe Smith will be the primary setup man again. If the Angels weren’t decimated I’d be more bullish on Salas.

Kyle Barraclough is still rocking a crazy strikeout rate but he simply walks too many batters. The upside is still tantalizing but he is a lotto ticket that is trending down.

– The Tigers pen is still a mess but our old friend Mark Lowe has been the only reliable setup man recently. Wrote him off a couple weeks ago but I’m a fan if he can regain his 2015 form.

Joakim Soria has been dealing. Still feels strange but Luke Hochevar is pimping out of the pen in KC so Soria probably won’t be the official 3rd in line.

– Replace Trevor May if you haven’t already. He has big upside but not necessary to exhibit that much patience for a backend setup man. 

Sergio Romo could be back next week. Romo has tier 2 potential when he gets right. Corey Knebel, a popular speculative save option early in preseason, will begin a rehab assignment soon.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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