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The Hold Up 6/13: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2024 season.

It’s been a messy season for the Rays as things have not gone as planned in all aspects, but the bullpen has been surprisingly shaky as well. Garrett Cleavinger has shown signs of brilliance but the walk rate continues to be an issue but he’s also slowed down in the K department as well. Over his past 7.2 innings he has a 2.7% K-BB rate and 5.48 xFIP but the 14.2% SwStr rate is promising that this may just be a phase.

The Phil Maton experiment on the other hand has been a complete disaster as he has just a 1.8% K-BB rate on the season to pair with a 5.80 xFIP over 24.1 innings. The Rays have completely changed his pitch mix usage (Curveball down 14%, Sweeper up 5% and a new Slider at 9% which has been terrible), but Maton’s cutter/fastball command has also been an issue. Hopefully something changes here, whether it’s the Rays fixing things or if they give up hope (DFA?) and perhaps Maton can get back to Houston where he had so much success previously. For now, he’s just not worth rostering in most formats.

 

Notes

 

  • Alex Vesia is still one of the most underrated relievers in baseball, and it’s really unfortunate he only has 4 holds on the year (2 in the past two weeks) because he’s been amazing really since mid April. Over his past 22.1 IP he has 41.3% K and 15.2 SwStr rates, a 0.67 WHIP, 2.36 SIERA and 121 Stuff+. His fastball is always grading out as one of the best in the game by PLV due to it’s 19.8 iVB! and the sliders not too shabby either (5.43 PLV, 48.3% Whiff). If he can find a way to get consistent hold chances, he’d easily be top 10, but for now he’s really only helping in 2-3 categories.

  • After hyping up Tommy Kahnle and Ian Hamilton last week, it’s been kind of a tough week for each of them, Kahnle especially who blew up against the Dodgers this past weekend. It’s the Dodgers so that is bound to happen time to time, but you have to get the feeling this Yankee team is kind of desperate to win now, so I’d expect at least one, maybe even two impact relievers to come in here and soak up some of the SV+HLD chances. Until Kahnle shows consistent command, I don’t see him seeing consistent hold chances.

  • Lucas Erceg came off the IL this week and proceeded to allow 2 ER in a blown save against the Padres. The velo seemed fine at least but I don’t have the most optimistic long term outlook for Erceg, partially due to team context and partially due to concerns about how he will hold up for the full season.
  • Dedniel Núñez hasn’t pitched much this seasons (which, why?), but when he has he’s flashed dominant stuff and should be on the radar in deeper holds leagues now. Over his 15.2 IP this season he holds 36.2%, 21.7 SwStr and 38.3% CSW rates to go with a 1.45 SIERA and 124 Stuff+. I think it’s fairly safe to say he is the Mets 3rd best reliever at worst, and hopefully the team will start using him in more high leverage spots (3 holds the past two weeks!).

  • Joel Payamps isn’t overly exciting from a fantasy aspect, but he has gone 11 innings in a row now without allowing an earned run. Over that span, he even has a 27% K rate and 4 holds. Don’t expect the K rate to get any higher, but he at least can help with ratios and the occasional hold.

  • Nick Sandlin has been great this season but he only has 2 SV+HLD’s since late April. Over his past 15 IP, he has just a 6.3% K-BB rate, leading to a 5.24 xFIP but he still hasn’t ruined your ratios at least with a 2.40 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He’s not a bad reliever there are just better options in that loaded bullpen so I wouldn’t expect him to start racking up holds anytime soon.

 

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

 

SP Eligible Relievers

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Griffin JaxT1-
2Jeff Hoffman-
3Bryan Abreu
T2
-
4Hunter Harvey+1
5Jason Adam+1
6Fernando Cruz+1
7Jeremiah Estrada-3
8Matt Strahm-
9Reed Garrett+UR
10Yennier Cano+2
11Bryan Hudson
T3
-1
12Ryan Walker-3
13Joe Jiménez-2
14Cade Smith+1
15JoJo Romero-2
16Hunter Gaddis-2
17Ryan Pressly-
18Orion Kerkering-
19David Robertson-
20Andrew Kittredge-
21Blake Treinen
T4
-
22Daniel Hudson+2
23Alex Vesia+7
24Colin Holderman+2
25Luke Weaver+2
26Justin Slaten+3
27Scott Barlow-4
28Mark Leiter Jr.-3
29Adrian Morejon+4
30Garrett Cleavinger-8
31Kevin Ginkel+1
32Pierce Johnson+2
33Tyler Rogers+3
34Andrew Nardi+3
35Justin Martinez+7
36Tommy Kahnle
T5
-8
37A.J. Puk-6
38Lucas Erceg+UR
39Ian Hamilton-4
40Ryne Stanek-
41Dedniel Núñez+44
42Chad Green+2
43Shelby Miller-2
44Taylor Rogers-1
45Joel Payamps+7
46Adam Ottavino-7
47Lucas Sims+1
48Nick Sandlin-10
49Erik Miller-3
50Randy Rodríguez+3
51Ryan Thompson
T6
-4
52John Schreiber+3
53Elvis Peguero-2
54Aroldis Chapman-
55Enyel De Los Santos-5
56Austin Adams-7
57Colin Poche+UR
58José Leclerc+9
59Jacob Webb+2
60Sam Hentges+3
61Michael Grove-3
62Tyler Holton+2
63Jorge Alcala-3
64Steven Okert-7
65Caleb Thielbar-9
66Trevor Richards-7
67Matt Moore-2
68Dylan Lee-2
69Nate Pearson+17
70Hunter Stratton+1
71Sean Hjelle
T7
-1
72Shawn Armstrong+2
73Drew Smith+2
74Tim Herrin+5
75Jordan Leasure-13
76Sam Moll+14
77Steven Wilson+UR
78Phil Maton-33
79John Brebbia-6
80Calvin Faucher-8
81Caleb Ferguson-4
82Aaron Bummer-2
83Yuki Matsui+5
84Kevin Kelly+8
85Trent Thornton+8
86Enoli Paredes-4
87Robert Garcia-4
88Greg Weissert-4
89Cam Booser+5
90Tayler Saucedo+UR
91Austin Voth+UR
92Hayden Wesneski-3
93Derek Law+UR
94Justin Wilson+1
95Joe Mantiply+2
96Jake Diekman-5
97Gregory Soto-19
98Seranthony Domínguez-2
99Ben Joyce-30
100Cole Sands-1

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 6/13: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Shane Ruppert says:

    That’s a photo of Jesse Chavez, not Joe Jiménez.

  2. Jason says:

    I absolutely love how focussed the content is on your site – thank you. I do have one little gripe though… with the Holds and Solds rankings: they don’t seem to take into account the actual volume of Holds/Saves a reliever has or is likely to accumulate.

    For example: Matt Strahm is ranked super high above, due to his great ratios, but the fact is he records a relatively low volume of holds (Ryan Walker has two more holds in the last month than Strahm has all season, but is ranked below him). Same goes for closers like Carlos Estevez and Michael Kopech, who seem to be ranked high because of the team label they have.. but they are both lucky to get 2 or 3 saves a month.

    Would love to hear your thoughts about it! And thanks again for the great work.

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