The Hold Up 7/27: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week

With the trade deadline creeping closer, it is time to take a look at how some potential deals could impact teams bullpen situations. Closers Justin Wilson, Addison Reed and AJ...

With the trade deadline creeping closer, it is time to take a look at how some potential deals could impact teams bullpen situations. Closers Justin Wilson, Addison Reed and AJ Ramos seem the most likely closers to be traded. Wilson would be a Tier 2 hold’s option wherever he ends up most likely, with Bruce Rondon probably winding up as the Tigers new closer. He’s not someone to get overly excited about just yet. Reed moving could see rookie Paul Sewald see time as the Mets closer until Jeurys Familia returns. Reed, like Wilson, would move into the 2nd tier on this list. Ramos is more of a Tier 3 hold’s option probably, and who knows who takes over closing duties in Miami if he were to be dealt. Kyle Barraclough was the most likely option before winding up on the DL.

TIER 1: Good Vibrations

1. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

2. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

3. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

  • Andrew Miller just continues to churn out positive fantasy weeks for owners while the other 2 in this tier had some struggles. Chris Devenski has now allowed 3 HR in his last 3 outings (3.1 IP) but outside of that he has been fine. Dellin Betances continues to allow baserunners at a much higher clip than he’s accustomed to. He’s likely to right the ship completely still, but he has little room for error with a now stacked Yankees bullpen.

TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You 

4. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

5. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

6. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

7. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

8. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

9. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

10. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

11. Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)

12. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

13. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

  • In his first game back from the DL, Arodys Vizcaino struggled to get two outs, allowing 3 hits and a run in the process. He has settled down in his last two outings, allowing 0 baserunners over 2 innings. Even if the Braves hold on to Jim Johnson, I’d still fully expect Viz to take over as the teams closer at some point before the end of the season.
  • Also returning from the DL last week was Keone Kela, who is still squarely in a competition for saves in Texas. While Alex Claudio continues to see the bulk of save chances, Kela did pitch a clean 8th inning in his first game back, earning a hold. I doubt Claudio becomes the teams clear-cut closer this season, so Kela should get another opportunity to see save chances later in the year.

TIER 3: Torn

14. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

15. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

16. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

17. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

18. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

19. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)  

20. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

21. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates

22. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals

23. Brett Cecil (St. Louis Cardinals)

24. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

25. Blake Treinen (Oakland Athletics)

26. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

27. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

28. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians)

29. Joe Smith (Toronto Blue Jays)

30. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

  • Just when you thought the White Sox bullpen couldn’t get any thinner, they go ahead and deal Anthony Swarzak to the Brewers on Tuesday night. It’s unclear how the Brewers plan to use him, but at the very least he should become the teams secondary set-up option, and could very well pitch the 8th inning with Jacob Barnes moving back into the 7th inning role. They could also use him in a Andrew Miller/Chris Devenski stopper role. Either way, his fantasy value should remain fairly high in holds league.
  • Another hold’s option returning from the DL this week is Joe Smith, who was a surprisingly productive real life and fantasy RP option early in the year. He should regain his top set-up spot, pitching the 8th in front of Roberto Osuna, although Ryan Tepera has pitched well the last month or so. Either way, Smith is a sneaky good source for holds, K’s and low ratio’s for those in deeper leagues.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

31. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

32. Brandon Maurer (Kansas City Royals)

33. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels)

34. Ryan Buchter (Kansas City Royals)

35. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners

36. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)

37. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers

38. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs

39. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)  

40. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

41. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)   

42. Paul Sewald (New York Mets

43. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)   

44. Chad Green (New York Yankees)

45. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres

46. Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies

46. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals)

47. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)

48. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

49. Koji Uehara (Chicago Cubs

50. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves)

  • The Royals bullpen got a solid boost, adding both Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter this weekend. I’d still imagine the team keep Joakim Soria and Mike Minor in high leverage situations, but it’s worth monitoring how Maurer and Buchter are used in the next couple of weeks, as both could have significant value. Maurer was pitching really well over the past month, while Buchter has been one of the best lefty relievers in baseball since the start of last season.
  • The other side to that trade gives us some nice sleeper options going forward, and two guys who very well could see 2 months as the teams closer or top setup option. Kirby Yates has gone from waivers on opening day to a stud late inning. Phil Maton is the teams closer of the future, but could take a back seat to Yates this season if the team moves Brad Hand at the deadline.

TIER 5: There She Goes 

51. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

52. Joe Biagini (Toronto Blue Jays)

53. Joaquin Benoit (Philadelphia Phillies

54. Michael Feliz (Houston Astros)

55. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)

56. Mike Dunn (Colorado Rockies

57. George Kontos (San Francisco Giants

58. Chase Whitley (Tampa Bay Rays 

59. Daniel Hudson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

60. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)

61. Kevin Siegrist (St. Louis Cardinals)

62. Peter Moylan (Kansas City Royals)

63. Josh Fields (Los Angeles Dodgers)

64. Junichi Tazawa (Miami Marlins)

65. Tony Watson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

66. Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)

67. Luis Garcia (Philadelphia Phillies

68. Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles Dodgers)

69. Dan Jennings (Chicago White Sox)

70. Jake Barrett (Arizona Diamondbacks)

  • Since Jake Barrett was recalled by the Diamondbacks just prior to the All-Star break, the guy who was once dubbed their future closer has been pretty dominant. Over 9 innings he has allowed 6 hits, but just issued 2 walks and 1 earned run while racking up 11 K’s. He probably won’t see any time as the teams closer this season, but he could find himself in a competition for the role heading into spring training next year.


Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

3. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)

4. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

5. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)

6. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

7. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

8. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

9. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

10. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

11. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

12. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

13. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

14. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)

15. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)

16. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

17. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

18. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

19. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

20. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

21. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)

22. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

23. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

24. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

25. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

26. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)

27. Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)

28. Addison Reed (New York Mets)

29. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs

30. Bud Norris (Los Angeles Angels)

31. Pat Neshek (Philadelphia Phillies)

32. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers)

33. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

34. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)

35. Taylor Rogers (Minnesota Twins)

36. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels)

37. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins)

38. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

39. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)

40. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

41. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)  

42. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

43. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)

44. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)

45. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

46. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates

47. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

48. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)

49. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals

50. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)

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 7/27: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week”

  1. With Will Harris set to return this weekend, where would he slot in your SV+HD list?

  2. tiwaniuk says:

    Curious as to why Robertson is ranked ahead of Bradley? Both play on winning teams and Bradley’s overall numbers are better than Robertson’s this season.

    I ask because I’ve had Bradley all season, but Robertson is available on the WW.

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