The Hold-Up 7/14: Ranking The Top 60 Relievers For Holds Every Thursday

Baseball is back tomorrow!!! Baseball is back tomorrow!!!!!! About time, this week has been awful. Anyway, it’s Thursday and here at The Pitcher List that means ranking the best setup...

Baseball is back tomorrow!!! Baseball is back tomorrow!!!!!! About time, this week has been awful. Anyway, it’s Thursday and here at The Pitcher List that means ranking the best setup men in the league. The following rankings are meant to give you some help on how to evaluate relief pitchers that do not finish games for their team. The beauty and craziness of a holds league is that a hold can be just as important as the save, but everyone knows who the closer is. With holds you can find an unowned and solid reliever who can really help your squad win a matchup.

Holds can be difficult to predict, so these rankings focus mostly on the raw potential seen in a relief pitcher to get a hold opportunity along with their ability to not leave you with a blown save or a loss based on what has been happening thus far this year. Some things to always consider are strikeout/groundball/flyball ratios, as you do not want to mess with the BABIP gods if you do not have to, but also your specific team needs based on your league.

Feel free to leave your questions and angry remarks in the comments section below. Let me know if you feel someone should be lower or higher on the list, I’ll be sure to take what you say into consideration. Give me a follow on Twitter @Just_In_Relief for all things concerning bullpens and who knows what else fantasy baseball related. Now, let’s see what the rankings look like this week. 

Tier 1

1. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

2. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

3. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles

4. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

5. Fernando Rodney (Miami Marlins)

6. Jake Diekman (Texas Rangers)

Tier 2

7. Tony Watson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

8. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox

9. Sergio Romo (San Francisco Giants)

10. Joe Blanton (Los Angeles Dodgers)

11. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

12. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

13. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

14. Tyler Thornburg (Milwaukee Brewers)

15. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

16. Neftali Feliz (Pittsburgh Pirates)

17. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)  

18. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)  

19. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

20. Xavier Cedeño (Tampa Bay Rays)

21. Joe Smith (Los Angeles Angels)

22. Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

23. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers

24. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

Tier 3

25. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

26. Zach Duke (Chicago White Sox)

27. Brad Ziegler (Boston Red Sox)

28. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

29. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

30. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

31. Jonathan Broxton (St. Louis Cardinals)

32. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

33. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

34. Brett Cecil (Toronto Blue Jays)

35. Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals)

36. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

37. Javier Lopez (San Francisco Giants)

38. Josh Osich (San Francisco Giants)

39. Edubray Ramos (Philadelphia Phillies)

40. Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox)

41. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)

42. Trevor May (Minnesota Twins)

43. Adam Liberatore (Los Angeles Dodgers)

44. Joaquin Benoit (Seattle Mariners)

Tier 4

45. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals)

46. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

47. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)  

48. Oliver Perez (Washington Nationals)

49. Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)

50. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

51. David Hernandez (Philadelphia Phillies)

52. Travis Wood (Chicago Cubs)

53. Tony Barnette (Texas Rangers)

54. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins

55. Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)

56. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

57. Francisco Abad (Minnesota Twins

58. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

59. Fernando Salas (Los Angeles Angels)

60. Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay Rays)

61. Tony Sipp (Houston Astros)

Tier 5

62. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

63. Blake Treinen (Washington Nationals)

64. Jesse Chavez (Toronto Blue Jays)

65. Erasmo Ramirez (Tampa Bay Rays)

66. Pat Neshek (Houston Astros)

67. Michael Feliz (Houston Astros)

68. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies)

69. Ryan Pressly (Minnesota Twins)

70. Louis Coleman (Los Angeles Dodgers)

71. Kirby Yates (New York Yankees)

72. Vidal Nuno (Seattle Mariners)

73. Hunter Cervenka (Atlanta Braves)

Tier 6

74. Andrew Bailey (Philadelphia Phillies)

75. Jared Hughes (Pittsburgh Pirates)

76. Justin Grimm (Chicago Cubs)

77. Jim Henderson (New York Mets)

78. Fernando Rodriguez (Oakland Athletics)

79. John Axford (Oakland Athletics)

80. Zach McAllister (Cleveland Indians)

81. Enny Romero (Tampa Bay Rays)

82. Matt Albers (Chicago White Sox)

83. Drew Storen (Toronto Blue Jays)

84. Jerry Blevins (New York Mets)

85. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

Tier 7

86. Jose Alvarez (Los Angeles Angels)

87. Derek Law (San Francisco Giants)

88. Antonio Bastardo (New York Mets)

89. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

90. Marc Rzepczynski (Oakland Athletics)

91. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

92. Greg Mahle (Los Angeles Angels)

93. Alex Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

94. Miguel Castro (Colorado Rockies)

95. Mike Dunn (Miami Marlins)


– Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

Gavin Floyd (Toronto Blue Jays)

Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

– Yimi Garcia (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

Michael Blazek (Milwaukee Brewers)

Bryan Morris (Miami Marlins)

Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

Carson Smith (Boston Red Sox)

Cory Gearrin (San Francisco Giants)

Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)


– Changes changes changes, ahhh yes – Brad Ziegler added to our list, Tyler Clippard and Koji Uehara removed. David Phelps dropped as his role diminishes with the presence of Fernando Rodney.

– Unfortunately there’s been only four days of baseball since the last setup rankings, not much to go off in terms of changing the ranks too drastically. Going into the second half I’m very high on Joe Blanton and Edwin Diaz as guys you can probably still add who can put up 2 holds a week.

Sergio Romo has started to look good. No runs in his first three appearances and all for holds. He’s the setup man in San Fran, if he’s somehow available in your holds league go get him. His ranking is only going to rise.

– Feels like I’ve been waiting ages for my favorite setup man, Darren O’Day to return. He’s a beast, and probably one of the most trusted relievers in baseball as well as being great for holds. Hopefully we get to see him return to action soon. I still give him a top 20 spot out of respect and faith and maybe stupidity. He’s coming back, I believe… I believe!!!!

– More serious note, Ken Giles is having a great start to his July. He has four appearances, no runs, three holds, a win and eight strikeouts. I like it, I also like the Astros to come out of the break hot as they have the talent to do so and have been lacking a little in comparison to last year. I’m buying Giles.

Kevin Siegrist should be returning from his bout with mono, yes pro baseball players get mono too, this is why you bring your own water bottle to practice. Anyway, I have no idea what that will do to the bullpen in St. Louis. I’d love to believe that the Final Boss has secured the spot as closer but I really can’t be sure. I expect Siegrist to bump Jonathan Broxton to a place of less relevance.

As always, be warned that after tier five the options are not prime, they do not get holds chances frequently and can not be trusted to keep your ERA and WHIP safe. The tiers at this late point are more of a grouping and just because someone is ranked above someone else in either of the last two tiers does not mean they are certainly better. Honestly, it would be wise to stay in the top 60, proceed at your own risk down there. Even tier five can be pretty risky. 

Again, leave me a comment if you think someone deserves to be in a different spot, if I missed an injury, or just want to dive into the discussion. Always feel free to ask any questions during the week on Twitter @Just_In_Relief.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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