The Hold Up 8/20: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

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

He’s yet to pick up a hold on the season, but don’t forget about Giovanny Gallegos in SV+HLD leagues. One of the best relievers in 2019, Gallegos is off to a hot start for the Cardinals, seemingly picking up where he left off last year. It’s only been 4 appearances and 3.1 IP, but he currently has a 6/0 K/BB, 33% SwStr, and 60% K rate while allowing just one hit. His slider remains one of the most dominant pitches in baseball, currently featuring a 75% Whiff and 67% PutAway rate. Don’t sleep on the fact he doesn’t have a hold yet. As the Cardinals best reliever, he is sure to start picking up more and more as the season progresses.


  • Zack Britton had a tough night yesterday and now may end up on the IL with a hamstring injury. As of now, I’m going to assume it’s a minor injury but the Yankees could play it safe and give him a few weeks off. If he does land on the IL, he’ll slide down the list roughly 20-30 spots. UPDATE: Britton did in fact land on the IL and has subsequently moved down to 37 on the list.
  • Right-handed left-handed specialist, Devin Williams’s fastball/changeup combo has been fantastic this season, leading to 48.8% K and 20.4% SwStr rates. Why the big improvement from last season? Well, it could be that his fastball velocity has remained the same while his changeup has lost 2 MPH and gained 8 inches of vertical drop. The pitch has literally been unhittable while racking up 14 K’s with a 60% Whiff rate.
  • Felix Pena remains one of the Angels’ best relievers, but it’s been more than two weeks since he picked up a hold. Whether that’s more related to usage or the team’s struggles, it still doesn’t help us for fantasy purposes.
  • Craig Kimbrel has put together back to back quality outings, even picking up a save last night and could find his way back into the closer role soon. If he is able to consistently throw his curve for strikes, he still has the stuff to be a great reliever. That remains a big IF though.
  • Another former closer working his way back into the role, Hansel Robles velocity has been on the rise over the past 2 weeks and the results have been there (except for last night). The added velocity is nice to see, but it will likely be a while before he gets his job back.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Tyler DuffeyT1+1
2James Karinchak+3
3Chad Green+3
4Tanner Rainey+6
5Giovanny Gallegos+UR
6Will Smith-2
7Joakim Soria+1
8Blake Treinen+1
9Sergio Romo+6
10Adam Ottavino+6
11Jordan Romano
12Scott Barlow+2
13Matt Barnes-1
14Diego Castillo+3
15David Phelps+5
16Jonathan Hernández+8
17Will Harris+8
18Devin Williams+UR
19Emilio Pagán-12
20Pedro Báez-7
22Justin Wilson+9
23Jeremy Jeffress-1
24Caleb Ferguson-6
25Trevor May+8
26Freddy Peralta
27Yusmeiro Petit+1
28John Gant+7
30Jake Diekman+4
31Gregory Soto-2
32Aaron Bummer+4
33Chaz Roe+4
34Shane Greene+6
35Mychal Givens+14
36Dellin Betances-10
37Zack Britton+UR
38Nick Wittgren+1
39Tyler Clippard-1
40Félix Peña-21
41Craig Kimbrel
42Josh James+UR
43Javy Guerra-1
44Ryan Helsley+1
45Richard Rodríguez+14
46Buck Farmer+9
47Chris Martin-1
48Craig Stammen+9
50Josh Staumont+25
51Adam Morgan+27
52Matt Strahm+12
53Blake Taylor+5
54A.J. Minter+6
55Tanner Scott+28
56Ian Kennedy-2
57Hansel Robles+UR
58Oliver Pérez-8
59Nate Jones+12
60Daniel Bard+13
61Brent Suter+27
62Brooks Raley+27
63Codi Heuer+UR
64Tommy Hunter+23
65Junior Guerra+3
66Alex Reyes
67Brusdar Graterol-11
68Wander Suero-3
70Luke Jackson-8
71Kyle Ryan-8
72Jalen Beeks+UR
75José Alvarez-3
76Matt Foster+9
77Joely Rodríguez-3
78José Cisnero-2
79T.J. McFarland+2
80Miguel Castro+2
81Josh Taylor-1
82Travis Lakins Sr.+2
83Dakota Bacus+UR
84James Hoyt+UR
86Rafael Dolis+UR
87Jared Hughes+UR
88Héctor Rondón+UR
89Alex Claudio+UR
90Casey Sadler+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.

One response to “The Hold Up 8/20: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Perfect Game says:

    Romo has 9 S+Hwith solid ratios and solid peripherals that support them…not to mention being on a great team that will provide plenty of opportunities. Why do you have him so much lower than others who don’t have the counting stats?

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