The Hold Up 9/2: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Rick Graham ranks baseball's top setup options for the 2021 season.

I’ll be the first to admit I was down big on Tyler Matzek following the new stick stuff rules being implemented. His spin rates were down more than any other relievers (400 or more RPM’s) and he walked eight hitters over 3.2 innings pitched over that period. Since the All-Star break, however, Matzek has figured things out and adjusted, and is now back to being one of the more effective relievers out there. Over the past 60 days, Matzek has a 1.29 ERA, .95 WHIP, and 27 K’s over 21 innings pitched. His 14 holds over that span are also tops in all of baseball, with only Jake McGee ahead of him in SV+HLD leagues with 15.




  • Héctor Neris continues his impressive streak as the rest of the Phillies bullpen has stumbled lately. Neris has arguably been one of the best relievers in baseball over the past 60 days, posting a 2.05 pCRA, which only Devin Williams beats. His 32.5 CSW and 34.7% K rate also rank in the top 15 over the past 60 days amongst qualified relievers. In SV+HLD leagues, I’d prefer Neris over any other Phillies reliever at this point.
  • Luis García has come from out of nowhere to be the Cardinal’s new bullpen ace, and while the 34-year-old has questionable career numbers, this new García seems legit. With a 34.2% Whiff rate and 33.2% CSW over 21.1 innings this year, what has García done differently from years past? For starters, his fastball is averaging 98+ MPH, which is a career-high by quite a large margin. His slider and splitter both play well off that sinking fastball and are his two main whiff getters.


  • Ryne Stanek seems to have gotten his command and control issues under control lately and has actually been really good since July started. Over his last 23.2 IP, Stanek has an ERA of 2.66 and WHIP of 1.10 to go with 33 K’s and ten holds (plus one save). Kendall Graveman is still second in line behind closer Ryan Pressly, but Stanek has reclaimed that secondary setup spot.
  • Tyler Duffey’s season has certainly been a disappointment, but he’s actually been sneaky productive since the middle of May or so. Over his last 33 innings, he has a 2.4 ERA and 1.33 WHIP albeit with a disappointing 10.9% K-BB rate as his stuff just hasn’t gotten swings and misses this year like we saw the past two seasons (Whiff rate down 14.7%). He still remains in the mix for holds in Minnesota though, and his 12 holds over those 33 innings ranking 17th most in all of baseball.



Rank Pitcher Change
1Craig KimbrelT1-
2Blake Treinen-
3Devin Williams-
4Kendall Graveman
5Chad Green+1
6Jonathan Loáisiga+1
7Anthony Bender+3
9Aaron Bummer+5
10Pete Fairbanks+UR
11J.P. Feyereisen+UR
12Seth Lugo-3
13Collin McHugh-5
14Michael Kopech-3
15Tyler Matzek-2
16Brad Boxberger-1
17Corey Knebel+1
18Garrett Whitlock+3
19Drew Steckenrider+3
20Ryan Tepera+7
21Jake Diekman+5
22Héctor Neris+17
23Trevor May
24Daniel Hudson-8
25Luis García+26
26Lucas Sims-3
27Alex Vesia-2
28Jake Cousins+2
29Michael Fulmer+2
30Sergio Romo+2
31Aaron Loup+2
32Emilio Pagán+3
33Garrett Crochet+7
34Génesis Cabrera-10
35Michael Lorenzen+UR
36Pierce Johnson-
37Josh Staumont+UR
38Phil Bickford-
39JT Chargois+UR
40Ryne Stanek+13
41Yusmeiro Petit
42Codi Heuer-1
43Richard Rodríguez-6
44Austin Adams-10
45Tim Mayza-2
46Jarlín García+8
47José Alvarado+8
48Tanner Scott-3
49Josh Taylor-5
50Dominic Leone-8
51Luke Jackson-5
52Joe Kelly-3
53Wandy Peralta-3
54Brent Suter-2
55Archie Bradley+1
56Adam Cimber+6
57Tyler Duffey+12
58Alex Reyes+UR
59Bryan Shaw+18
60José Cisnero-2
61A.J. Minter
62Austin Warren+2
63Manuel Rodríguez+2
64Tim Hill-1
65Jake Brentz+UR
66Chris Stratton+10
67Spencer Patton+UR
68Lou Trivino+UR
69Juan Minaya+15
70Connor Brogdon+18
72Joely Rodríguez-6
73Craig Stammen+8
75Noé Ramirez+14
76Domingo Tapia-6
77Adbert Alzolay+UR
78Kyle Funkhouser-4
79Brooks Raley-4
80Joakim Soria+7
81Casey Sadler
82Zack Littell+1
83Jhoulys Chacín+10
84A.J. Puk-12
85Daniel Bard+UR
86Sam Coonrod+UR
89Richard Bleier+2
90Caleb Thielbar+2
91Adam Morgan+3
92Josh Sborz+5
93Kyle Zimmer-14
94Steve Cishek-8
95Andrés Machado-15
96Mason Thompson-6
97Jeurys Familia+1
98Brusdar Graterol+1
99Cristian Javier-3
100José Alvarez+UR


Photo by David J. Griffin/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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