Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 5/7

Rick Graham updates his top 100 relief pitchers for SV+HD leagues.

Ian Kennedy led all relievers this past week with four SV+HLD’s (all saves) while also allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out seven over those four innings pitched. This being the 36-year-old Ian Kennedy who had to accept a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with the Rangers in late February. After tallying 30 saves in 2019, Kennedy only logged 14 innings in 2020, failing to record a save while finishing the year with an ERA of 9.00. It’s been a crazy comeback story for a pitcher many wrote off, and what’s even more impressive is that he’s doing all this by just throwing his fastball over 80% of the time.

Kennedy’s current pitch totals stand at 159 fastballs, with just 20 changeups, 13 curveballs, and 5 cutters thrown. This has led to a 1.93 ERA, 0.79WHIP, and 20/1 K/BB rate over 14 innings, the same amount of innings he pitched last year. His 16.8% SwStr, 35% CSW, 36.5% K-BB, and 36.7% Whiff rates all rank in the top 20 amongst relievers this season. All of these great numbers from a right-handed pitcher throwing a 93-94 MPH fastball 80% of the time. It’s great to see him have success, and he has been locating his fastball much better at the top of the zone, but I still have my doubts about whether or not this can continue. He is allowing a lot of hard contact (a lot of good relievers do) but as long as it isn’t hurting him, it’s not hurting you.



  • It looks like the closer role will be Rafael Dolis’s for the time being, which makes sense considering Jordan Romano hasn’t quite been the same this year following last year’s breakout.  Julian Merryweather was moved to the 60-day IL this week and for those still holding onto him in non-holds leagues, you can probably move on at this point. As for Dolis, I still hate seeing his walk rate around 15%, but he’s made it work the past two seasons to this point.
  • Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman have been alternating the closer role every other week it seems, but Trivino may have knocked himself out of save chances following his last outing.  For the month of May, Trivino has allowed six hits and six earned runs while having a 2/3 K/BB rate over 2.1 innings. Diekman on the other hand hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 9th, almost a month ago. Diekman’s really the only A’s reliever you want to have rostered right now.


  • Jake McGee may also be on the outs as a closer, as he has allowed runs in five of his last six outings. Gabe Kapler indicated Tyler Rogers could be in line for more save chances, which makes sense given the righties sparkling ratios (1.02 ERA, 0.85 WHIP). Rogers still can’t get hitters to swing and miss (12.4% Whiff rate) as he only throws 81-82 MPH, but the submariner gets plenty of weak contact with his fastball/frisby curveball combo.
  • The Nationals got Will Harris back this week and should be on track to get Wander Suero back next week, leaving their setup situation a bit murky at the moment. Tanner Rainey has definitely pitched himself out of a role for now, while Daniel Hudson has pitched very sparingly lately with just three appearances over the past 15 days. There’s a chance both Harris and Suero return to set up roles by next week so keep them on your radar.


  • Rafael Montero continues to cling to a high leverage role in Seattle despite leading the league in blown saves (four) and being supremely average when not blowing saves. He’ll likely be one of the more volatile closers/relievers out there, but if he continues to be used in the 8th or 9th inning of close games, he is worth consideration. I guess the same can be said about Daniel Bard at this point too, whose fastball continues to get rocked (.361 xBA, .518 xwOBA, and .789 xSLG).
  • Right behind Kennedy for this week’s SV+HLD leaders, we had Aroldis Chapman, Giovanny Gallegos, and Alex Reyes who three SV+HLDs apiece. Gallegos continues to be one of the top non-closer relievers in all of baseball and has not allowed an earned run since April 20th. While Reyes is currently entrenched as the teams closer and has looked better as of late, I could still see Gallegos sliding into that role at some point this season.


EDIT 5/8: Added Garrett Crochet and removed Keone Kela


Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Aroldis Chapman-
3Liam Hendriks-
4Edwin Díaz-
5James Karinchak+3
6Ryan Pressly
7Matt Barnes+4
8Raisel Iglesias-2
9Craig Kimbrel+1
10Will Smith+3
11Emmanuel Clase+1
12Giovanny Gallegos+4
13Kenley Jansen-6
14Drew Pomeranz+1
15Mark Melancon+4
16Jake Diekman+7
17Devin Williams-
18Héctor Neris-
19Brad Hand-10
20Trevor May+1
21Chad Green-1
22Richard Rodríguez+5
23Kendall Graveman+7
24Lucas Sims+2
25Blake Treinen+3
26Rafael Dolis
27Alex Reyes+4
28Jordan Romano-4
29Pete Fairbanks+UR
30J.P. Feyereisen+26
31Taylor Rogers-6
32José Alvarado-3
33Tejay Antone+5
34Michael Kopech+8
35Victor González-
36César Valdez+7
37Ian Kennedy+12
38Yimi García-6
39Josh Staumont+1
40Scott Barlow-7
41Tyler Duffey-5
42Aaron Bummer+2
43Jonathan Loáisiga+12
45Joely Rodríguez+9
46Gregory Soto
47Codi Heuer-2
49Emilio Pagán-3
50Ryne Stanek+11
52Lou Trivino-18
53Chris Martin+UR
54Adam Ottavino-2
55Miguel Castro-2
56Austin Adams+10
57A.J. Minter+3
58Tanner Scott+1
59Sam Coonrod+33
60Tanner Rainey-23
61Garrett Whitlock+10
62Garrett Crochet+UR
63Jake McGee-41
64Andrew Chafin+5
65Sam Howard+2
66Tyler Matzek+4
67Dylan Floro+5
68Hansel Robles-10
69Mychal Givens-7
70Sean Doolittle-7
71Stefan Crichton
72Kevin Ginkel-8
73Daniel Hudson-5
74Will Harris+UR
75Wander Suero+UR
76Pierce Johnson+3
77Brent Suter-1
78Yusmeiro Petit+4
79Kyle Crick+UR
81Rafael Montero+18
82Chris Rodriguez+4
83Andrew Kittredge+1
84Ryan Thompson-1
85Tyler Chatwood+UR
86Daniel Bard-36
87Jeffrey Springs+6
88Caleb Thielbar+2
89Darwinzon Hernández-1
90Paul Fry+6
91Anthony Misiewicz-4
92Rex Brothers+3
93Tim Hill+5
94Josh Sborz+UR
95Bryan Shaw+UR
96Ryan Tepera+UR
97Ryan Borucki+UR
98Brooks Raley-7
99Joakim Soria+UR
100Alex Colomé-


Injured List


(Photo by Aric Becker/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.

5 responses to “Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 5/7”

  1. Leo says:

    Is Brad Hand getting lowered because of lack of save opportunities in Washington or because of some other reason?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Not really, but I talked about this on Tuesday with the closer ranks. Basically he’s just a Toby in the closer/RP world. Can’t miss any bats but can still be effective. He’s closer to Melancon and the Roger brothers than that second group of closers where I had him before.

  2. Will says:

    Staumont seems low compared to his recent performance. Do you just want to see more sustained success or is there something else to his ranking?

    • Rick Graham says:

      Partially to do with his recent performance, xStats, and the fact that the Royals bullpen usage is all over the place. His last outing, in which he was charged with a loss, he came in during the 7th inning of a tie game. Just not sure I really want to trust anyone in that bullpen right now.

  3. Mike Honcho says:

    What has been the source of the problems Colome had that cost him the closer gig?
    Gotta think the Twins are working OT to fix.

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