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

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

In what may be further proof that we are currently living in some bizarro alternate timeline, Jhoulys Chacin actually leads all relievers in holds over the past month. Sure his 3.07 ERA and 1.02 WHIP look great over that timespan (14.2 IP) but that also comes with a 7/7 K/BB ratio and 5.21 xFIP. His stuff remains mostly the same with some increased velocity as a result of moving to the bullpen full-time, but it’s hard to deny the holds he’s providing at the moment. Feel free to ride with him for now, but just be aware he could blow up when Jhoulyst expect it.




  • Diego Castillo returned to the Mariners bullpen this past week, and figure to form some sort of three-man committee in the later innings with Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider. Castillo already has a save since returning and has been lights out in general, tossing three scoreless innings while striking out five.
  • After originally looking like he would fall out of high leverage work, Ryan Tepera has now recorded five holds over the past three weeks, with three of them coming this past week. Tepera has been one of the best trade deadline additions this year and holds a 1.88 ERA and .91 WHIP with a 34.5% K rate over his 14.1 innings with the White Sox.


  • While nothing has been confirmed, the expectation is that Nick Anderson will return to the Rays bullpen sometime in the next week. The bullpen doesn’t exactly need Anderson, and it’s tough to tell how things will shake out here with everyone (mostly) healthy. Matt Wisler was also activated earlier in the week but it looks like he will go back on the IL as he’s not completely over his finger issue.
  • Julian Merryweather was activated off the IL yesterday and his next appearance will be his first since April 13. The hype train at that time was through the roof, as Merryweather was showing off three plus pitches. Similar to Anderson, Merryweather brings considerable upside but with that comes a lot of unknowns. This late in the season, it’s a huge gamble to roster either one.


  • Luke Jackson has 13 holds since the All-Star break, which is second behind only teammate Tyler Matzek so why did he just now crack the top 40? xStats aside, Jackson theoretically had Richard Rodriguez, Chris Martin, and Matzek to contend with in front of closer Will Smith. Now that Martin is out, it does free things up a bit for Jackson but be aware of potential regression.
  • Daniel Hudson has not given the Padres much since being the team’s top trade deadline addition (yes, over Adam Frazier and his .574 OPS with SD in a part-time role). Hudson was supposed to slide into a setup role but has just one hold (Aug. 15th) in 14 appearances. Over that span, he has an ERA of 7.20 and WHIP of 1.70 with a 15.2% K-BB rate.



Rank Pitcher Change
1Craig KimbrelT1-
2Blake Treinen-
3Devin Williams-
4Kendall Graveman-
5Chad Green
6Diego Castillo+UR
8Anthony Bender-1
9Aaron Bummer-
10Pete Fairbanks-
11J.P. Feyereisen-
12Ryan Tepera+8
13Hector Neris+9
14Nick Anderson+UR
15Seth Lugo
16Drew Steckenrider+3
17Garrett Whitlock+1
18Collin McHugh-5
19Michael Kopech-5
20Trevor May+3
21Tyler Matzek-6
22Brad Boxberger-6
23Lucas Sims+3
24Tim Mayza+21
25Michael Fulmer
26Alex Vesia+1
27Jake Diekman-6
28Luis García-3
29Aaron Loup+2
30Phil Bickford+8
31Pierce Johnson+5
32Garrett Crochet+1
33Michael Lorenzen+2
34Ryne Stanek+6
35Corey Knebel-18
36Codi Heuer+6
37Jake Cousins-9
38Julian Merryweather+UR
39Richard Rodríguez+4
40Luke Jackson+11
41Sergio Romo
42Austin Adams+2
43Tanner Scott+5
44José Alvarado+3
45Tyler Duffey+12
46Joe Kelly+6
47Adam Cimber+9
48Jhoulys Chacín+35
49Emilio Pagán-17
50Génesis Cabrera-16
51Josh Staumont-14
52Josh Taylor-3
53Daniel Hudson-29
54Archie Bradley+1
55JT Chargois-16
56Jarlín García-10
57Dominic Leone-7
58Brent Suter-4
59Bryan Shaw-
60Yusmeiro Petit-19
61Alex Reyes
62A.J. Minter-1
63Connor Brogdon+7
64Brooks Raley+15
65Chris Stratton+1
66Spencer Patton+1
67Tim Hill-3
68Jake Brentz-3
69Steve Cishek+25
70Juan Minaya-1
71Tyler Wells+UR
73Casey Sadler+8
74José Cisnero-14
75Wandy Peralta-22
77Caleb Thielbar+13
78Brad Hand+UR
79Brett Martin+UR
80Joely Rodríguez-8
81Craig Stammen
82Adbert Alzolay-5
83Sam Coonrod+3
84Domingo Tapia-8
85Camilo Doval+UR
86Adam Morgan+5
87Jeurys Familia+10
88Brusdar Graterol+10
89Andrés Machado+6
90Noé Ramirez-15
91Austin Warren-29
92Zack Littell-10
93T.J. McFarland+UR
94Austin Davis+UR
95Yohan Ramirez+UR
96Sam Howard+UR
97Manuel Rodríguez-34
98Josh Sborz-6
99Mason Thompson-3


Photo by Dustin Bradford/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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