The Hold Up 6/8: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2023 season.

José Alvarado is scheduled to return this weekend and while it remains to be seen what his role will be, he should be rostered in all formats for now. I’d imagine he’ll slide into more of a setup role with how well Craig Kimbrel has pitched in save situations. Before landing on the IL, Alvarado was top 3 in K%, K-BB%, and xFIP and continues to excel in a Phillies uniform. Once activated, it could push one of Gregory Soto or Seranthony Domínguez out of consistent high-leverage situations, at least as long as Kimbrel is throwing well.




  • Mariners Andrés Muñoz also returned earlier in the week, which is more great news for baseball as he and Alvarado are two of the most dominant relievers in the game. Muñoz looked like his typical self in his first game back on Tuesday, picking up two strikeouts over a perfect inning of work to earn a hold. He should be Paul Sewald’s top setup man as long as he remains healthy.
  • James Karinchak has been pitching much better as of late, and while there were still some walk issues in May, he has been a consistent contributor in holds leagues. Dating back to his final two outings in April, Karinchak has a 1.26 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 20 K’s and 5 Holds over 14.1 IP. The hold totals aren’t great, but that’s more of a product of the Guardians’ struggles than Karinchaks current role.


  • This may be one of the best stretches of Tanner Scott’s career, as over his last 9 IPs, the lefty has not been scored on while holding a .89 WHIP and striking out 17 batters. The Marlins bullpen is a bit crowded so it’s tough to suggest Scott will be racking up holds on a weekly basis, but as long as he is keeping the walk rate relatively down, he will be a great source of strikeouts while not wrecking your ratios.
  • Kendall Graveman may not be a huge swing-and-miss guy and I see that 4.81 xFIP signaling impending doom, but until things start to unravel for him, he should remain as the top setup option in front of closer Liam Hendriks. Even without the whiffs, Gravemans 33.1% CSW is solid but one interesting note is the drastic drop in ground ball rate, dropping over 10% from the last two seasons. Not exactly a trend you want to see from a sinkerballer.


  • It’s awesome to see Chris Devenski flying up these ranks, as it looks like he has found his changeup again and has just been leaning heavily on it, with a 56% usage rate so far. The fastball is still a concern, but if he’s able to continue hiding it with the changeup, he may be alright. He also hasn’t walked anyone yet over 20 IP, while posting a near 17% SwStr rate which is pretty incredible.
  • Scott McGough is starting to turn things around, allowing just one ER over the past month, while also contributing 22 K’s, 6 holds, and a .75 WHIP over 16 IPs. The splitter is a legitimate weapon, and similarly to Devenski with his changeup, can help mask the poor fastball.


  • Also rising in that Arizona bullpen is Austin Adams, a reliever who’s been on this list whenever healthy it seems like. It’s only been 4.2 IP so far, but Adams has allowed just one run while striking out six and already has four holds. Health has always been the issue with Adams, as we know how good the stuff can be, so as long as he is active in this bullpen, he is worth monitoring at least.
  • There’s nothing really special in Danny Coulombe’s repertoire and while he only has a 13.9% SwStr rate, he has managed to strike out nearly 35% of batters this season. Maybe it’s the fact he throws six different pitches, but Coulombe has been able to keep hitters off balance and should remain the Orioles’ top left-handed reliever option moving forward.


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


Rank Pitcher Change
1José AlvaradoT1+UR
2Andrés Muñoz+UR
3Yennier Cano-2
4Erik Swanson-
5Bryan Abreu-3
6Michael King
7Aroldis Chapman-2
8Giovanny Gallegos-5
9Héctor Neris-3
10Adbert Alzolay-2
11James Karinchak+5
12Nick Anderson+3
13Hunter Harvey-4
14Brusdar Graterol-4
15Trevor Stephan+2
16A.J. Minter
17Miguel Castro-6
18Adam Ottavino-6
19Seranthony Domínguez+2
20Gregory Soto-7
21Matt Brash-7
22Tanner Scott+4
23Caleb Ferguson-5
24Griffin Jax-5
25Kendall Graveman+5
26Chris Martin
27Steven Wilson-4
28Brooks Raley-4
29Colin Holderman-4
30Sam Hentges+3
31Tommy Kahnle-4
32Nick Martinez-
33Lucas Sims+2
34Caleb Thielbar+UR
35Chris Devenski+33
36Jason Foley
37Phil Maton-1
38Joe Kelly+1
39Taylor Rogers-8
40Joel Payamps-11
41Steven Okert-1
42Jordan Hicks-4
43Ben Joyce-6
45Scott McGough+6
46Brandon Hughes
47Austin Adams+15
48Reynaldo López-1
49Drew Smith+1
50Dylan Floro+UR
51Peter Strzelecki+3
52Danny Coulombe+13
53Ron Marinaccio+3
55Eli Morgan+4
56Alex Young-4
58Brock Burke-9
59Jorge López-18
60Andrew Nardi+10
61Carlos Hernández
62Bryan Baker-19
63Huascar Brazoban-15
64Josh Winckowski-22
65Dauri Moreta+8
66Taylor Clarke+14
67Robert Stephenson+20
68Wandy Peralta-8
69Nate Pearson+2
70Josh Sborz+21
71Tim Mayza+6
72Colin Poche+17
73Carl Edwards Jr.-18
74Pierce Johnson+UR
75Tim Hill+1
76Joe Jiménez-23
77Jovani Moran-19
79Michael Fulmer+3
80Connor Brogdon-13
81Collin McHugh
82Yimi García-10
83Aaron Bummer-5
84José Leclerc+10
85Génesis Cabrera-11
86Grant Anderson+UR
87Rafael Montero-12
88John Brebbia-5
89Will Vest-4
90Kyle Nelson-4
91Brock Stewart+4
92Scott Alexander+6
93Alex Vesia+UR
94Luke Jackson+6
95Trevor Richards+UR
96Bryse Wilson+UR
97Ryan Walker+UR
98Tom Cosgrove+UR
99Kevin Kelly+UR
100Gregory Santos-7

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 6/8: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Ray C says:

    Brock Stewart hype, climbing 40 spots in the go around.

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