The Hold Up 9/14: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2023 season.

Two names to keep an eye on as potential future closers, Abner Uribe and Ben Joyce have already factored in to some hold chances this season, with each picking up a hold this past week. Both also happen to be in similar situations with their teams respective closers only being under contract for one (Joyce in LA) or two (Uribe in MIL) more seasons, so there’s a chance if they can stay healthy and keep improving their command we see them as closers by 2026. Joyce finally returned from the IL earlier this week and has appeared in two games so far, and while his velo was down, he still averaged 100 MPH with his fastball, showing just the kind of upside he possesses if he can stay healthy for a full season.




  • Erik Swanson returned from the IL this past week and was even showing off some increased velocity in his first game back. It’s great timing for a Blue Jays team struggling to hang on to a Wild Card spot at the moment, and expect Swanson to return to his regular set up role for the remainder of the season.
  • I was worried about what kind of role Reynaldo López would have in Cleveland after landing there on waivers, but so far he has seen plenty of hold chances and continues to pitch well for his third team this season. He’s yet to allow a run in six outings with the Guardians.


  • Joe Kelly and Michael Fulmer both returned from the IL this past week, with Fulmer already converting a save. He hasn’t been very consistent this season but with Adbert Alzolay on the IL, is likely to see more high leverage work. Kelly on the other hand has dealt with injuries all season, but was pitching well before this last stint although did not look great yesterday in his first game back.
  • John King has taken over as the Cardinals top left handed late inning option with JoJo Romero on the IL, and while he doesn’t have the same sort of swing and miss upside, he has been great for them since coming over at the deadline, allowing just two earned runs over 14 IP.



If you would like more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Robert StephensonT1-
2Matt Brash-
3Erik Swanson+UR
4José Alvarado-1
5Bryan Abreu-
6A.J. Minter+2
7Mark Leiter Jr.-1
8Giovanny Gallegos+UR
9Héctor Neris-2
10Trevor Stephan+2
11Griffin Jax
12Kevin Ginkel+3
13Andrew Nardi-
14Colin Holderman+3
15Jeff Hoffman+8
16Joel Payamps-5
17Danny Coulombe-3
18Tommy Kahnle+2
19Brooks Raley+6
20Reynaldo López+10
21Hunter Harvey
22Jason Foley-4
23Taylor Rogers-4
24Jordan Hicks-2
25Brusdar Graterol-1
26Lucas Sims+1
27A.J. Puk-1
28Ryan Brasier+7
29Caleb Thielbar+7
30John Schreiber+8
31Abner Uribe
32Ben Joyce+UR
33Kirby Yates+9
34Gregory Soto+5
36Robert Suarez+10
37Joe Jiménez-6
39Sam Hentges+9
40Colin Poche+10
41Ian Gibaut+4
42Tim Mayza-5
43Seranthony Domínguez-9
44Elvis Peguero+3
46Will Smith
47Gregory Santos+UR
48Matt Moore-15
49Joe Kelly+UR
50Pierce Johnson+4
51Michael Fulmer+UR
52Chris Stratton+4
53John King+20
54Matt Strahm+3
55Wandy Peralta-2
56David Robertson+11
57Tyler Holton+12
58Garrett Whitlock+6
59Caleb Ferguson+6
60Scott Barlow+6
61José Leclerc
62Emilio Pagán-1
63José Soriano-5
64Luke Jackson-5
65Steven Okert-14
66Scott McGough-4
67Fernando Cruz+5
68Tom Cosgrove+3
69Jake Diekman+12
70Casey Lawrence+UR
71Andrew Kittredge-8
72Yimi García-2
73Eli Morgan-18
74Gabe Speier-6
75Shawn Armstrong+UR
76Dany Jiménez+8
77Ryan Borucki+UR
78Trevor Megill+UR
79Jorge López+UR
80Carmen Mlodzinski+UR
81Josh Winckowski
82Aaron Bummer-8
83Trevor Richards-23
84Trent Thornton-7
85Nick Sandlin-6
86Kyle Nelson-6
87Drew Smith-11
88Phil Maton-6
89Enyel De Los Santos-2
90Brad Hand+UR
91Rafael Montero+7
92Nick Martinez-14
93DL Hall-8
94George Soriano-11
95Jordan Weems-9
96Phil Bickford-6
97John Brebbia-5
98Justin Lawrence+UR
99Shintaro Fujinami+UR
100Alex Vesia-

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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