The Hold Up 9/15: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2022 season.

James Karinchak is back to his 2020/early 2021 self this season, and has been able to pitch himself back into a setup role for the Guardians. He’s still walking too many guys (14% since August) but he’s allowed just 2 ER over his last 20 IP while also striking out 32. There’s plenty of debate as to whether or not the “sticky stuff” has returned to baseball, but this is likely to be the new normal and I wouldn’t worry about the league cracking down on Karinchak or others anytime soon (much to the chagrin of Rocco Baldelli).



  • Seranthony Domínguez returned to the Phillies bullpen this past week, but not quite yet to the closer role. That said, he’s looked fantastic in a set up role since returning, averaging 98.7 MPH his last time out, and should still be rostered in all leagues that count holds.


  • José Alvarado continued his dominance since August this past week, with four more K’s and two holds. Since August, Alvarado has a 1.85 xFIP, and 42% K rate (while walking just 6%!), amongst the top five of qualified relievers and he’s also been able to tack 10 holds, the most in baseball since August started.


  • Aaron Bummer has looked like his normal self since returning from the IL, which is vital for a White Sox team that will likely lean on him at the back end of games as every other reliever outside of Liam Hendriks has had their issues lately. Look for Bummer to finish the year in a set up role, where he should be good for at least four or so holds.


  • Tommy Kahnle’s return to the Dodgers bullpen should be a huge boost after losing Blake Treinen this past week. Kahnle looked great in his first game back with a perfect inning, striking out two, and as long as he is healthy he’s proven he can be one of the better set up men in baseball. But he’s only thrown six total innings since 2019.


  • Pierce Johnson also returned this past week, and gives the Padres much needed depth at the back end of the bullpen. It does leave some questions as far as who the preferred set up man will be moving forward, but Johnson could possibly move into that role in short notice. He’s yet to allow a baserunner in two innings of work since returning, while also striking out three.


  • Diego Castillo’s September struggles have continued as he’s allowed five earned runs over 3.1 IP while walking three and striking out only two. While Castillo has a great track record, the Mariners just have too many quality relief options right now to continue to trust him in the biggest spots of games, so I’d expect him to fade out of relevance down the stretch.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Raisel IglesiasT1-
2Andrés Muñoz-
3Jhoan Duran-
4Seranthony Domínguez+UR
5Giovanny Gallegos-1
6Evan Phillips-1
7Jason Adam+UR
8Trevor Stephan+3
9Brooks Raley-2
10A.J. Minter-2
11José Alvarado+16
12Erik Swanson-
13James Karinchak+1
14John Schreiber+UR
15Rafael Montero+UR
16Héctor Neris
17Kendall Graveman-7
18Garrett Whitlock-5
19Adam Ottavino-3
20Anthony Bass+4
21Joe Jiménez-3
22Griffin Jax-3
23Taylor Rogers+3
24Jonathan Loáisiga+4
25Michael Fulmer-4
26Aaron Bummer+17
27Alex Lange-2
28Andrew Chafin-8
29Bryan Abreu+1
30Trevor May+11
31Jordan Hicks-2
32Collin McHugh+5
33Tommy Kahnle+UR
34Joe Mantiply-1
35Pierce Johnson
36Robert Suarez-1
37Nick Martinez-15
38Matt Brash-
39Carl Edwards Jr.-5
40Alex Vesia+14
41Matt Bush-10
42Ryne Stanek-2
43Will Smith-1
44Brock Burke+2
45Cionel Pérez+5
46Matt Moore+11
47Dillon Tate+17
48Seth Lugo-12
49Colin Poche-17
50Diego Castillo-33
51Yimi García-7
52Brad Boxberger-5
53Steven Okert-8
54Eli Morgan-6
55José Quijada-2
56Tyler Matzek
57Luis Garcia-18
58Tim Mayza+7
59Carlos Estévez+7
60Brad Hand-9
61Kirby Yates-12
62Dylan Coleman-7
63Dylan Floro+22
64Adam Cimber-4
65Aaron Loup-4
66John Brebbia+1
67Caleb Thielbar-11
68Hunter Harvey-9
69Reynaldo López-
70Andrew Bellatti+4
71Matt Strahm+1
72Jonathan Hernández+UR
73Emilio Pagán-11
74Chris Martin+1
75Phil Maton-7
76Mychal Givens-13
77Wandy Peralta+3
78Ryan Tepera
79Alex Young-8
80Phil Bickford-2
81Connor Brogdon-4
82Kevin Ginkel-
83Domingo Acevedo+7
85Joe Kelly+UR
86Andre Pallante+1
87Adrian Morejon-14
88Jake Diekman+1
89Sam Hentges+UR
90Sam Coonrod-2
91Lou Trivino-15
92Duane Underwood Jr.+UR
93Reyes Moronta-14
94JT Chargois-3
95Scott Alexander+UR
96Sam Moll-
97Manny Bañuelos-2
98Taylor Hearn-5
99Shawn Armstrong-7
100Jalen Beeks-3


Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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.

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