The Hold Up 6/20: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks the top pitchers to own for holds.

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  • Anthony Swarzak has been a different pitcher since arriving in Atlanta about a month ago and now seems to have positioned himself as the Braves’ top setup option. He has eight SV+HDs since the trade to go with a 16:6 K/BB rate, 0.66 ERA and 0.81 WHIP over 13.2 innings. AJ Minter has looked just OK since returning from the minors (4:4 K/BB), but he does have four holds in the past two weeks while allowing just one hit in four innings pitched. He has the talent to get back into that second tier at some point, but the walk rate needs to improve. Cam Bedrosian has quietly put together a great season and is now finally starting to see some hold chances working in front of  Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles. Over the past two weeks, he has three holds along with a 1.29 ERA, 0.714 WHIP and a 9:1 K/BB over seven innings. Liam Hendriks has been having a career year and is finally been rewarded for it over the past two weeks with four holds as he works as Blake Treinen’s primary setup man. Over seven innings during that span, he has a ridiculous 13:1 K/BB rate while allowing just four hits and no runs

  • Michael Lorenzen vultured two saves from Raisel Iglesias earlier in the week, and while David Bell claims there’s no closer controversy, it’s safe to say Lorenzen will still get some chance here and there going forward. Lorenzen for his part has pitched well this season, but he still only has four holds to go with his four saves on the year. Aaron Bummer has settled in to the White Sox’s top setup role nicely and now has three holds over the past two weeks. The ratios may be up and down throughout the year, but he should be a good source of holds and strikeouts. Tanner Rainey has established himself as the Nationals’ top setup option in fairly short order, but it’s well-deserved as the rookie’s first 13.1 innings pitched have been a fresh of breath air for that bullpen. Like Bummer, the ratios may take a hit throughout the year, but they both are live arms with good stuff whose strikeout rates could take them up into the top tiers.
  • It’s been a tough stretch for John Brebbia, who hasn’t seen a hold in almost two months now and has an ERA over 6 during the past 30 days. There’s still talent here, but until the Cardinals trust him again in high-leverage situations, he is best to avoid. The bottom has completely fallen out for the Jekyll and Hyde act known as Lou Trivino. After a great start to the season, the past month has been a complete disaster, with an 8.31 ERA and 2.15 WHIP over 13 innings. He can get back into the top tiers, but it’s going to take a while to trust him again.
  • Jairo Diaz’s five-run disaster against the Padres this weekend probably has him falling out of favor in that Rockies bullpen for the time being, but he’s still an intriguing arm. We could all see the regression coming, but to call Archie Bradley’s season a disappointment is a complete understatement. I hope he can turn things around for the second half, but an ERA over 5 and a 1.82 WHIP aren’t helping anybody right now.

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.

One response to “The Hold Up 6/20: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. WheelhouseWreck says:

    Brandon Workman

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