The Hold Up 9/30: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

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

Alex Colomé isn’t the only Twins reliever to turn his season around since the start of August. Tyler Duffey has looked like the Tyler Duffey we’ve been accustomed to seeing over the 2019 and 2020 seasons since the calendar flipped to August. Over that time (20.1 IP), Duffey has a 2.21 ERA, .98 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts to go with eight holds (and one save). The strikeouts may be a bit higher than expected as he’s still had trouble getting swings and misses, (10.6% over that time frame) but his 20.5% CStr% has helped him to a respectable 31.1% CSW. With Colomé a free agent and Taylor Rogers a potential trade candidate, there’s a chance Duffey finds himself as the Twins closer to begin next season and would make for one of the better sleeper options at the position.




  • Jonathan Loáisiga returned from the IL this week and should be a factor this weekend in the Yankees series with the Rays. The righty missed close to a month with a rotator cuff injury, but looked like his usual self last night, striking out one in a perfect seventh inning with his velocity in the upper 90’s. Look for him to resume his role as one of the Yankees’ top two setup options.
  • David Bednar has recorded two holds since returning to the Pirates bullpen on Sunday, as he figures to finish the year as Chris Stratton’s top set up man. The Pirates end the season with a series against the Reds, so it may be tough for Bednar to add anymore holds, but he’s certainly a name to remember for next season as the Pirates’ potential closer.


  • Andrew Kittredge has also returned from a brief IL stint, working the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Astros. Despite locking up the top seed in the AL, we still have no real idea who may be closing out games for the Rays in October. What we do know, is that this bullpen is one of if not the deepest top to bottom, and should be the Rays biggest strength this postseason assuming everyone (Nick Anderson, Matt Wisler, etc.) is healthy.
  • Since being recalled by the Giants earlier this month, Camilo Doval has been one of the best relievers in baseball, having yet to allow a run over 12.1 innings and striking out 16. He’s pitched so well the team has entrusted him with the closer role, at least until Jake McGee returns (this weekend?). The electric Doval is definitely a name to watch out for next year.


  • It hasn’t been the finish to the season we had hoped for Anthony Bender after he lit the world on fire over his initial 26.1 innings. Over his last 33 innings, Bender has a 4.36 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with just seven SV+HLD’s dating back to mid-July.  For the month of September, he only has two holds as the Marlins’ struggles continue. That said, he’s certainly someone to keep an eye on for next season, as he could be an option to close out games for the Marlins.
  • Ryan Tepera is currently slated to return to the White Sox bullpen this weekend, just in time for the start of the postseason. Even with Craig Kimbrel having his issues since moving to the South Side, Tepera is still probably behind him and closer Liam Hendriks at the very least in the pecking order.



Rank Pitcher Change
1Craig KimbrelT1-
2Blake Treinen-
3Diego Castillo+4
4Drew Steckenrider+UR
6Chad Green+2
7Aaron Bummer+3
8Kendall Graveman-2
9Héctor Neris+2
10Jonathan Loáisiga+UR
11J.P. Feyereisen+1
12David Bednar+UR
13Andrew Kittredge+UR
14Josh Staumont+6
15Luke Jackson+6
16Tim Mayza-1
17Luis García-1
18Tyler Matzek-1
19Lucas Sims-1
20Génesis Cabrera-1
21Anthony Bender
22Michael Kopech-8
23Corey Knebel+4
24Tyler Duffey+12
25Brad Boxberger-2
26Camilo Doval+62
27Seth Lugo+3
28Ryan Tepera+UR
29Collin McHugh-16
30Adam Ottavino+UR
31Trevor May-9
32Alex Vesia-6
33Ryne Stanek-5
34Aaron Loup-9
35Jake Diekman-11
36Joe Kelly+9
37Garrett Crochet-8
38Aaron Ashby-1
39Michael Lorenzen-8
40Matt Barnes+2
41JT Chargois
42Phil Bickford-3
43Adam Cimber+8
44Richard Rodríguez+3
45Bryan Shaw+9
46Julian Merryweather-3
47José Alvarado-15
48Juan Minaya+16
49Alex Reyes-14
50Codi Heuer-10
51Casey Sadler+12
52Clay Holmes+UR
53T.J. McFarland+6
54Jhoulys Chacín-6
55Sergio Romo-5
56Pierce Johnson-12
57Emilio Pagán-5
58Daniel Hudson-9
59Kyle Funkhouser+6
60Jake Brentz-5
61Spencer Patton
62Jarlín García+10
64Scott Effross+UR
66Brent Suter+17
67Tim Hill+4
68Kyle Finnegan+UR
70Brooks Raley-10
72Steve Cishek-14
73Dennis Santana+UR
74A.J. Minter-13
75Chris Martin-19
76Trevor Richards-10
77Brett Martin+7
78Dillon Tate+UR
79Alex Lange-9
80Zack Littell+10
81Tyler Kinley
82Art Warren+UR
83Domingo Tapia+4
84Yusmeiro Petit-7
85Noé Ramirez-7
86Austin Adams-4
87Adbert Alzolay+4
88Caleb Thielbar-3
89Anthony Banda-20
90Michael King-16
91Wandy Peralta-5
92Andrés Machado-25
93Brusdar Graterol-14
94Joely Rodríguez-14
95Connor Brogdon+UR
96Sam Howard-
97Austin Davis-2
98Adam Morgan-5
99Austin Warren-5
100José Alvarez+UR


Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

One response to “The Hold Up 9/30: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday”

  1. M. Jones says:

    Where’s Paul Sewald at? Would think he’s got to be T1, especially contending this last weekend.

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