The Hold Up 7/23: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's top setup men for the 2020 season.

Real baseball is finally here people! Even more so than in years past, the start of the season comes with tons of uncertainty, especially when attempting to figure out how certain teams will use their relievers. While some teams have openly talked about what they will do at the back end of the bullpen, others remain tight-lipped. Either way, even the most transparent teams are sure to surprise us along the way.

These reliever lists will be fairly volatile early on, but we’ll do our best to stay on top of reliever usage throughout the year to give you the most up to date information. Starting tomorrow, we will be beginning our daily “Relievers to Stream for Wins and Saves” series, which will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning and will be a great tool for those of you looking to stream saves.




  • The Cardinals have finally locked in their closer to start the season, but how will things line up behind Kwang-hyun Kim? Giovanny Gallegos should be ready soon, possibly even by this weekend, and should slot back into a setup role when available. Behind him, expect John Gant, Andrew Miller, and Ryan Helsley to vie for the 7th inning, but unless Kim shifts back to the rotation, there will likely be an odd man out somewhere here. Miller is probably safe as the only lefty, so it could be Helsley and Gant fighting over a secondary setup role to begin the year.
  • Rafael Montero was an exciting holds target heading into the year, but after missing the start of camp, he is now dealing with forearm soreness and won’t be ready for opening day. He’s still worthy of a stash in deeper leagues as potentially the only member of that bullpen that can challenge Jose Leclerc.
  • Anyone who knows Nick Burdi’s story will surely be pulling for him this season as the guy has dealt with injury after injury in his career. Now finally healthy for the first time in a while, he looks ready to contribute in a high leverage role early on for the Pirates. Kyle Crick may get the first shot at saves, but Burdi has future closer written all over him, assuming he can stay on the field.
  • Just as the hype train for Austin Adams started getting into gear, we get the news that he will not be ready for the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery this spring. He should be relatively close to joining the team, and barring a setback, he should be ready in a week or two. He is probably the most talented reliever in that Seattle bullpen when healthy and should see some save chances at some point this season.
  • Tough news with Rays reliever Colin Poche who was diagnosed with a torn UCL the other day. The promising young reliever likely won’t pitch again in a Major League game until 2022 now. In his absence, Oliver Drake could wind up seeing more high leverage work.
  • Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor are both working their way back from dealing with Covid-19 and the two Red Sox lefties could be ready as soon as this weekend. Hernandez seems slightly closer to being game ready and carries much more upside than Taylor.
  • Brett Martin of the Rangers is also working his way back from Covid-19 and seems to be on a similar timeline as the two mentioned above. When activated, he should slot back into a setup role immediately in a thin Rangers bullpen.
  • Hunter Harvey will open the season on the IL, in what the Orioles are calling a precautionary move as he deals with elbow soreness. It’s still concerning given Harvey’s injury history, but if he is able to return in a week or two, he’s worth monitoring in most leagues.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Ryan PresslyT1-
2Drew Pomeranz-
3Seth Lugo
4Emilio Pagán+1
5Tommy Kahnle+1
6Tyler Duffey+1
7Will Smith-4
8Matt Barnes-
9Will Harris-
10Adam Ottavino-
11Dellin Betances
12Giovanny Gallegos+UR
13Diego Castillo-
14Ty Buttrey-
15Corey Knebel-3
16Aaron Bummer-1
17Michael Lorenzen+2
18Bryan Abreu+4
19Andrew Miller-3
20Sergio Romo-2
21Pedro Báez-4
23Blake Treinen+1
24José Alvarado+3
25James Karinchak-2
26Ryan Helsley+7
27Trevor May+2
28Kevin Ginkel-2
29Scott Barlow-4
30Daniel Hudson+5
31John Gant+13
32Luke Jackson-1
33Robert Stephenson-3
34Scott Oberg
35Yusmeiro Petit+2
36Joakim Soria+2
37Chaz Roe+2
38Andrew Chafin+2
39Matt Strahm+2
41Chris Martin+1
42Justin Wilson+1
43Shane Greene+2
44Joe Kelly+2
45Chad Green+2
46Adam Morgan+2
47Oliver Pérez+2
48Craig Stammen+2
49Nick Wittgren+2
50Rafael Montero
51Tanner Rainey+4
52Carlos Estévez+6
53Rowan Wick+7
55Trevor Gott+10
56Richard Rodríguez+17
57Jake Diekman+10
58Trevor Rosenthal+10
59Anthony Bass+10
60Nick Burdi+UR
61Wander Suero-5
62Yimi García+8
63Jairo Díaz-6
64Oliver Drake+15
65Austin Adams+UR
66Darwinzon Hernández-12
67Josh Taylor-8
68Brett Martin-2
69Hunter Harvey-8
70Cam Bedrosian+2
71Noé Ramirez
73Michael Feliz+1
74Brad Wieck+3
75José Alvarez+3
76Andrew Kittredge+4
77Buck Farmer+5
79Kyle Ryan+5
80Ryne Stanek+5
81Brent Suter+5
82Junior Guerra+5
83Cody Stashak+5
84Zack Littell+5
85Steve Cishek+UR
86Héctor Rondón+UR
87Jeremy Jeffress+UR
88Tommy Hunter+UR
89Pedro Strop+UR
90Tyler Clippard+UR


Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm 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.

4 responses to “The Hold Up 7/23: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Guslikessoda@gmail.com says:

    Taylor Rogers?

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