The Hold Up 6/23: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2022 season.

Michael King continues to shine as the Yankees top setup option behind closer Clay Holmes (who thought this would be a sentence a year ago?) as he is second in strikeouts amongst all relievers for the season (52) and second in CSW% at 35.8%. The Yankees do have some reinforcements on the way in that bullpen in Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, and Jonathan Loáisiga, but with Chad Green out for the season, King should be able to fill that Green role where he may enter earlier on in games. While that may limit hold chances, it does tend to lead to more wins so it’s not something to worry about.




  • What a story John Schreiber has been this season, as he has been a rock at the backend of the Red Sox bullpen as of late, picking up a whopping four holds over the past week. The sinker/slider mix has produced groundballs at an almost 55% clip and his slider is getting enough whiffs to keep his K rate over 30%. Keep rocking with him and with Tanner Houck out for the upcoming Blue Jays series next week, Schreiber may wind up with a save chance or two.


  • Ken Giles has finally returned to the Mariners bullpen, making his debut this past week and he looked…alright. His velocity was at 95 MPH although he only threw five fastballs as he went slider heavy. Giles consistently sat 97+ mph before the injury so it’s something to monitor, but we could see him become a more slider-dominant pitcher if the velo doesn’t improve. I don’t think Giles is a real threat to join the closer mix here anytime soon, but someone to keep an eye on after the All-Star break if he progresses.


  • José Leclerc also made his return recently from Tommy John surgery and did not fare so well, allowing four hits and a walk over an inning (at least his velo was good!?). Command is one of the biggest things to watch for as pitchers return from a long, TSJ layoff and it showed in Leclerc’s first outing. As with Giles, it may take a while to get back into the rhythm of things (with Giles it’s getting his velo up, while with Leclerc it’s a command issue) but we’ve seen the upside here in the past so he’s worth watching.


  • Collin McHugh returned from a Covid-IL stint this past week and should enter back into a middle relief role for the Braves. Despite lefties Will Smith and A.J. Minter locking down setup roles, McHugh should still see more hold opportunities (despite only five holds on the season) as the top right-handed reliever in this bullpen outside of Kenley Jansen.


  • Corey Knebel has been demoted out of the closer role for the time being and I wouldn’t count on him getting that job back anytime soon. That being said, he’s still a talented arm who we shouldn’t completely forget about just yet. He’s not going to be of much help in the short term, but for those of you in deeper holds leagues, I’d hang onto Knebel to see how things play out.


  • I love seeing past favorites in John Brebbia and Carl Edwards Jr. having success this season after dealing with injuries and bouncing around the league the past few seasons. Both have been high up on this list in the not-too-distant past, and are starting to figure into more high-leverage situations for their respective teams, so they are two names worth monitoring.



Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Giovanny Gallegos-
3Jhoan Duran-
4Daniel Hudson-
5Paul Sewald-
6Michael King
7A.J. Minter-1
8Héctor Neris+1
9Michael Fulmer+1
10Brooks Raley+6
11Jason Adam+UR
12John Schreiber+11
13Ryan Tepera-2
14Seth Lugo-2
15Eli Morgan+4
16Drew Smith
17Griffin Jax-3
18Josh Staumont-5
19Génesis Cabrera-4
20Alex Lange-2
21Will Smith-1
22Andrew Chafin-
23Brad Boxberger+1
24Matt Wisler+1
25Ryne Stanek+1
26Rafael Montero+1
27Joe Kelly+3
28Yimi García+3
29Luis García+3
30Félix Bautista+3
31Andrés Muñoz
32Dennis Santana+4
33Evan Phillips+2
34Ken Giles+UR
35Tim Mayza-6
36Erik Swanson-8
37Brock Burke+1
38Dominic Leone+2
39Aaron Loup+3
40Scott Effross+3
41Wil Crowe-2
42Collin McHugh+UR
43Matt Strahm+5
44José Leclerc+UR
46Phil Maton
47Trevor Stephan-
48Corey Knebel+UR
49Adam Cimber-8
50Anthony Bass-1
51Steven Okert-6
52Alex Vesia-1
53Brusdar Graterol-1
54Steven Wilson-1
55Jake Diekman-1
56Tyler Duffey-1
57Joe Mantiply-1
58Joely Rodríguez-1
59John Brebbia+18
60Connor Brogdon+7
61Mychal Givens-3
62Jake McGee+6
63Adam Ottavino-
64Brad Hand+1
65Enyel De Los Santos+UR
66Carl Edwards Jr.+30
67Wandy Peralta-5
68Dylan Coleman+8
69Bryan Abreu+6
70Will Vest+11
71Ian Kennedy
72Noé Ramirez-11
73Matt Bush-4
74Rowan Wick-
75Kyle Finnegan-4
76Zach Jackson-4
77Hansel Robles-17
78Joe Smith-14
79Dillon Tate-13
80Caleb Thielbar-10
81Miguel Sánchez+UR
82Jalen Beeks-9
83Cionel Pérez-3
84Penn Murfee-2
85Art Warren-1
86Lou Trivino-3
87Dylan Floro-2
88Matt Moore+UR
89Reynaldo López-1
90José Cuas-
91Joe Jiménez+UR
92Luis Cessa-6
93Miguel Castro-6
94Sam Hentges-5
95José Alvarado-2
96Joel Kuhnel-2
97José Ruiz-6
98Domingo Acevedo+UR
99Alex Colomé-2
100Jeff Hoffman-2


Photo 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.

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