The Hold Up 8/17: Ranking the Top 70 Relievers for Holds Every Week

With Aroldis Chapman becoming a legitimate concern for the Yankees, all 5 Yankee relievers on the list get a boost this week. Chapman may get a few days off here...

With Aroldis Chapman becoming a legitimate concern for the Yankees, all 5 Yankee relievers on the list get a boost this week. Chapman may get a few days off here as he battles a hamstring injury, and it sounds like David Robertson will be used in the 9th shall a save situation come up. It’s interesting they chose him over Dellin Betances, but with both pitching very well as of late, it’s hardly surprising. Joe Girardi says the team hasn’t considered moving Chapman out of the role once he gets healthy, but he may want to at least entertain the idea. Robertson has proven to be a legitimate closer in this league, and have the ability to bring in either Betances or Chapman at any point prior to the 9th inning is pretty salivating. Tommy Kahnle has certainly pitched well enough to stick as a 7th or 8th inning option, while Chad Green is currently the best long man in the game and even Adam Warren continues to keep his ERA under 2 with a sub 1 WHIP in 50 innings.. There are plenty of options here for Girardi to play with if the team is bold enough to remove Chapman from the 9th. It might be about time for him to do just that,

TIER 1: Good Vibrations

1. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

2. Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)

  • Ryan Madson is currently day-to-day with a finger injury, that is not quite a blister and possibly worse. With all the pitchers we’ve seen head to the DL with blister problems, there could be a chance we see Madson as well. It would be a shame as he has been one of if not the most consistent set-up option in baseball this season.

TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You

3. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

4. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

5. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

6. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

7Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

8. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

9. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

10. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

11. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

12. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

13. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox

14. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

15. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

16. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

17. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)

18. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

19. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

  • It’s not shocking to see Addison Reed’s Red Sox tenure get off to such a bad start. Watching this team over the years, mid-season reliever acquisitions are largely hit or miss, more often missing. Reed is too talented to become completely useless in that bullpen, but he very well could lose the 8th inning to Matt Barnes. Barnes was fine in the role prior to Reed’s arrival and probably has more trust from John Farrell at this point.
  • Brandon Kintzler on the other hand has been awesome for the Nationals since coming over at the deadline with 3 holds, 2 wins and 6 K’s in 8 games. While he has been used as the teams secondary/7th inning set up option, he could move into the 8th inning if Ryan Madson winds up on the DL with that finger issue.

TIER 3: Torn

20. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

21. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels

22. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)  

23. David Hernandez (Arizona Diamondbacks

24. Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles Dodgers

25. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels

26. Mike Dunn (Colorado Rockies

27. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

28. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)  

29. Wandy Peralta (Cincinnati Reds)  

30. Ryan Tepera (Toronto Blue Jays)  

31. Chad Green (New York Yankees)  

32. Jacob Barnes (Milwaukee Brewers

33. Steve Cishek (Tampa Bay Rays

34. Jose Ramirez (Atlanta Braves

35. Joe Smith (Cleveland Indians)  

  • It’s never a good thing when a playoff contending team’s still trying to figure out bullpen roles in the middle of August like the Angels seem to be doing. With Bud Norris flaming out as the teams closer, the team proceeded to use 3 different relievers to record saves in 3 straight days. Cam Bedrosian seems like the most likely “closer” at the moment, with Kenyan Middleton spelling him until he is able to pitch on back to back days. This leaves Blake Parker and Yusmeiro Petit to the 7th and 8th inning setup roles, which would still boost their value just based on them finally being used in those situations consistently.
  • Kyle Barraclough is back from the DL, and while he is expected to replace interim closer Brad Ziegler eventually, he is probably ticketed for hold chances for little while prior. Barraclough has been streaky this season, and his success has/will always come down to how well he is controlling his pitches. He’s an interesting spec add for those in SV+HD leagues, especially for those in need of a strikeout boost.

TIER 4: You Get What You Give

36. Paul Sewald (New York Mets

37. Dominic Leone (Toronto Blue Jays)

38. George Kontos (Pittsburgh Pirates

39. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)

40. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

41. Mike Minor (Kansas City Royals)

42. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)

43. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

44. Tyler Lyons (St. Louis Cardinals)

45. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

46. Ryan Buchter (Kansas City Royals)

47. Seung Hwan-Oh (St. Louis Cardinals)

48. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

49. Ryan Dull (Oakland Athletics)

50. Chris Rusin (Colorado Rockies)

  • While Joakim Soria is still on the active roster, it’s certainly a possibility he is placed on the DL in the next few days. He had to get an MRI on his sore lower back after allowing 4 earned runs Tuesday night. He was in the middle of a pretty solid season, and the Royals who are fighting for one of the last AL playoff spots certainly would miss him. Ryan Buchter is probably the next best option for 8th inning set up duties at the moment, as Mike Minor, Neftali Feliz and Brandon Maurer have really been scuffling in August. 38 year old Peter Moylan is another option, but with significantly less upside.
  • The Cardinals also seem unable to solve their ongoing bullpen debacle, as it’s been a rotating door of set-up men all season long. Tyler Lyons has possibly been their best reliever all year-long, and should probably be used in the 8th inning more often than not. Seung Hwan Oh has been better in a setup role, but still hasn’t flashed the elite shutdown ability he did last season. Brett Cecil is beginning to look like a lost cause, while Matt Bowman is just an average talent at best.

TIER 5: There She Goes 

51. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres)

52. Cody Gearrin (San Francisco Giants)

53. Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)

54. Matt Bowman (St. Louis Cardinals)

55. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants

56. Edubray Ramos (Philadelphia Phillies)

57. Adam Warren (New York Yankees)

58. Jose Leclerc (Texas Rangers)

59. Bryan Shaw (Cleveland Indians) 

60. Tyler Clippard (Houston Astros

61. Matt Bush (Texas Rangers)

62. Joe Musgrove (Houston Astros

63. Emilio Pagan (Seattle Mariners)

64. Drew Steckenrider (Miami Marlins)

65. Danny Barnes (Toronto Blue Jays)

66. Tony Watson (Los Angeles Dodgers)

67. Hansel Robles (New York Mets)

68. Matt Albers (Washington Nationals)

69. Josh Fields (Los Angeles Dodgers)

70. Joe Jimenez (Detroit Tigers)

  • An interesting dark horse for save chances for the Miami Marlins come September would be Drew Steckenrider. At the very least, it would be cool to see the team trade Brad Ziegler and allow for one of the more awesome 8th/9th inning pitcher duo’s based on he and Kyle Barracloughs last name’s. Barrarider or Steckenclough, take your pick.

Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

3. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)

4. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

5. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)

6. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

7. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

8. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

9. Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)

10. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

11. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)

12. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)

13. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

14. Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)

15. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)

16. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals)  

17. David Robertson (New York Yankees)

18. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks

19. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies

20. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)

21. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

22. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres)

23. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs)  

24. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros

25. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)

26. Pedro Strop (Chicago Cubs)

27. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)

28. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

29. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

30. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)

31. Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres)

32. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)

33. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

34. Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox

35. Pedro Baez (Los Angeles Dodgers

36. Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels

37. Tommy Kahnle (New York Yankees)

38. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)

39. Addison Reed (Boston Red Sox)

40. Justin Wilson (Chicago Cubs)

41. Tommy Hunter (Tampa Bay Rays)  

42. Brandon Kintzler (Washington Nationals

43. Blake Treinen  (Oakland Athletics)

44. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)

45. A.J. Ramos (New York Mets)

46. Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

47. Juan Nicasio (Pittsburgh Pirates)

48. Yusmeiro Petit (Los Angeles Angels

49. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins)  

50. Trevor Hildenberger (Minnesota Twins)

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.

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