The Hold Up 8/27: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

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

While it looks like veterans Joakim Soria and Blake Treinen took a hit this week dropping two spots, it’s really nothing against those two, I just like the upside some of these younger relievers above them bring right now. I was late to the Devin Williams hype train, but he is the real deal. Diego Castillo is still squarely in the mix for saves in Tampa after picking one up last night, while Scott Barlow and Jonathan Hernández are putting up great numbers as their team’s respective top set up option.

Sergio Romo, on the other hand, leads the league in SV+HD’s but I wonder how long he remains in that top set up role. The Twins clearly trust him, but there are better options in that bullpen who are capable to pitch in high leverage situations. Romo’s primary pitch, his slider, currently has a .386 xWOBA and .552 xSLG.


  • Will Smith has yet to pick up a save or hold this season in 4.2 IP. He has two wins on the year, but so far hasn’t made the impact the Braves were looking for when they signed him to a 3 year, $39 million deal.
  • Amir Garrett just picked up his first two holds of the season this past week, which was way overdue for one of the better relievers in baseball. Garrett currently leads all relievers in SwStr rate at 22.3%.
  • Staying in Cincinnati, Lucas Sims has been awesome for the Reds this season and could find himself seeing more hold chances as others in that bullpen flame out. As is the case with Freddy Peralta, Sim’s SP eligibility adds to his fantasy value so even if he isn’t getting holds on a weekly basis, he’s a great SP for low ratio’s and K’s.
  • José Cisnero may wind up closing out games for the Tigers after Buck Farmer’s performance last night, but for this week he remains on the Hold Up list. Cisnero and Gregory Soto are the clear cut top options in that bullpen right now, but Cisnero being right-handed and the veteran of the two may have the upper hand when it comes to save chances.
  • Jake McGee has had a bit of a renaissance this season, looking like his old Rays self from back in 2014-15. Will it stick or will it lead to fantasy value for holds leagues remains to be seen, but he has put himself on the radar again. It’s rare in today’s game to see someone get away with throwing a fastball 96% of the time, but his velocity is up a tick and the approach has worked for him before.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Tyler DuffeyT1-
2James Karinchak-
3Chad Green-
4Tanner Rainey-
5Devin Williams+13
6Diego Castillo
7Scott Barlow+5
8Jonathan Hernández+8
9Joakim Soria-2
10Blake Treinen-2
11Sergio Romo-2
12Will Smith-6
13David Phelps+2
14Caleb Ferguson+10
16Will Harris
17Adam Ottavino-7
19Justin Wilson+3
20Jake Diekman+10
21Carlos Estévez+UR
22Trevor May+3
23Jeremy Jeffress-
24Freddy Peralta+2
25Nick Wittgren
26Yusmeiro Petit+1
27John Gant+1
28Gregory Soto+3
29Tyler Clippard+10
30Mychal Givens+5
31Anthony Bass+UR
32Aaron Bummer-
33Zack Britton+4
34Craig Kimbrel+7
35Richard Rodríguez+10
36Lucas Sims+UR
37Shane Greene-3
38Félix Peña+2
39Dellin Betances-3
41José Cisnero+37
42Jake McGee+UR
43Chris Martin+4
44Ryan Helsley
45Pedro Báez-25
46Yoshi Hirano+UR
47Josh Staumont+3
48Tommy Hunter+16
49Craig Stammen-1
50Javy Guerra-7
51Adam Morgan-
52Matt Strahm-
53Hansel Robles+4
54Andrew Miller+UR
55Oliver Pérez+3
56T.J. McFarland+23
57Chaz Roe-24
58Blake Taylor-5
60Darwinzon Hernández+UR
61Rafael Dolis+25
62Brad Boxberger+UR
63Wander Suero+5
64Tanner Scott
65Kyle Ryan+6
66Brent Suter-5
67Héctor Neris+UR
68Luke Jackson+2
69Brusdar Graterol-2
73Matt Foster+3
74Joely Rodríguez+3
75A.J. Minter-21
76Codi Heuer-13
77Alex Reyes-11
78Junior Guerra-13
80James Hoyt+4
81Miguel Castro-1
82Héctor Rondón+6
83Tim Hill+UR
84Enoli Paredes+UR
85A.J. Cole+UR
86Pierce Johnson+UR
87Ryan Tepera+UR
88Phil Maton+UR
89Chasen Shreve+UR
90Aaron Slegers+UR
91Scott Alexander+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.

6 responses to “The Hold Up 8/27: Ranking the Top 90 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. Peter says:

    Where’s Jordan Romano?

  2. Boom says:

    You just can’t quit Will Smith. Lol

  3. Ryan says:

    KC’s Staumont?

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