Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 8/14

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

Jordan “don’t call me Ray” Romano has come from out of nowhere to be one of the most dominant set up men in baseball, featuring just a two-pitch mix, with both pitches grading out as plus. His fastball is up 2 MPH this season to 97 MPH, while his slider is also up 4 MPH, and now both are a serious problem for opposing hitters.

While last season Romano threw his fastball 64% and his slider 36% of the time, this year he has flipped the script, featuring his slider as his primary offering at 61% and his fastball at 39%. The work backwards approach has worked wonders for Romano, as both pitches have a Whiff rate over 42% and his fastball even has a 50% PutAway rate.

If Ken Giles were to have a setback in his rehab, I would without a doubt expect Romano to close out games for the Blue Jays at some point this season as he is the far superior talent to Anthony Bass. It may not be this season, but look for Romano to open next year as the Jays closer should they fail to re-sign Giles this offseason or bring in any other bullpen talent.




  • The Scott Barlow and Trevor Rosenthal rankings may be surprising, but I’m a bigger believer in Barlow at the moment than Rosenthal. Sure Rosenthal’s stuff is back and he looks like his 2017 self, but Barlow is picking up where he left off just last season and is the safer option at this point.


  • I think it’s safe to say that Freddy Peralta’s best role is that of a multi-inning reliever/stopper. After struggling in his first start, Peralta has racked up 14 K’s to 2 BB’s over his next two relief appearances, and while he only has one hold to his name, the Brewers bullpen could desperately use his talents in more hold situations.


  • Will Harris was activated from IL yesterday but did not see any game action. It’ll be interesting to see how Harris is used with Daniel Hudson, Tanner Rainey, and Javy Guerra all throwing well, but my early guess would be that Guerra gets bumped out of a setup role.


  • Keone Kela also returned from the IL yesterday, seeing an inning of work that saw mixed results. His velocity was fine, even up a bit from last year and he should have no trouble maintaining the closer role in Pittsburgh for the rest of the season.


  • Despite just returning from the IL last week, Rafael Montero led the league in SV+HD’s this past week with 4 total, all being saves. In 4 games Montero has yet to allow a baserunner while striking out 4. Another week like this and expect to see him near the top of tier 2.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Josh HaderT1-
2Liam Hendriks-
3Drew Pomeranz+2
4Nick Anderson+2
5Tyler Duffey+2
6Seth Lugo+2
7Taylor Rogers-4
8Kirby Yates-4
9Kenley Jansen-
10Aroldis Chapman+1
11Edwin Díaz
12Will Smith-
13James Karinchak-3
14Giovanny Gallegos-1
15Zack Britton-
16Chad Green-
17Emilio Pagán+6
18Joakim Soria+8
19Raisel Iglesias+3
20Blake Treinen+7
21Tanner Rainey+25
22Jordan Romano+21
23Héctor Neris-5
24Brandon Workman-4
25Archie Bradley-4
26Alex Colomé+5
27Matt Barnes-3
28Pedro Báez+12
29Daniel Hudson-10
30Sergio Romo-5
31Ryan Pressly-14
32Brad Hand-2
33Mark Melancon-5
34Joe Jiménez-2
35Scott Barlow+19
36Trevor Rosenthal
37Rafael Montero+34
38Adam Ottavino+1
39Rowan Wick-3
40Diego Castillo-11
41Caleb Ferguson+1
42Ty Buttrey-5
43Félix Peña+4
44David Phelps+4
46Jeremy Jeffress+4
47Carlos Estévez+6
48Jonathan Hernández+7
49Trevor Gott+8
50Will Harris+UR
51Anthony Bass-7
52Dellin Betances+11
53José Alvarado+12
54Yusmeiro Petit+10
55Gregory Soto+UR
56Freddy Peralta+43
57Keone Kela+UR
58Justin Wilson-2
59Jairo Díaz-21
60Brandon Kintzler+6
61Ken Giles
63Trevor May-22
64Jake Diekman+11
65John Gant-5
66Aaron Bummer-52
67Chaz Roe+1
68Tyler Clippard+9
69Nick Wittgren-
70Shane Greene+4
71Andrew Miller-13
72Javy Guerra+28
73Josh Tomlin+UR
74Burch Smith+UR
75Ryan Helsley-41
76Chris Martin-31
79Mychal Givens+UR
80Oliver Pérez+15
81Andrew Chafin
82Brett Martin+4
83Corey Knebel-21
84Cole Sulser-3
85Oliver Drake-50
86Ian Kennedy-19
87Buck Farmer-26
88Brusdar Graterol+UR
89Taylor Williams+UR
90Craig Stammen-14
91Blake Taylor-18
92Richard Rodríguez-12
93A.J. Minter-5
94Adam Morgan-16
96Luke Jackson-17
97Kyle Ryan-14
98Matt Strahm-7
99Wander Suero-12
100Cody Stashak-15


Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm 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.

4 responses to “Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues: 8/14”

  1. Bardfan says:

    Missing Bard.

  2. Harry Lime says:

    No Hansel (n I’m throwing 97 mph again) Robles???

  3. theKraken says:

    .067 = Romano’s BABIP.

    I think you are a savage beast at these rankings and I can’t believe you do it in so much depth. Barlow wasn’t worth rostering last year IMO. He was the one guy that I am going to say that you helped me get burned with last year. You have helped me a lot though too. Maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth from May when I actually rostered him. I swear every time I streamed him it was a meltdown. He does seem to give up a fair amount of hits and the walks are a bit ugly and the royals… well they are the royals. It is always worth reflecting on how easy of a job middle relievers have – anyone can have a lot of short term success in that role. Legit closers at least have to clean up their own mess and don’t get to pick and choose match-ups. RP are the placekickers of baseball. They get to celebrate at the end but all they actually do is blow it sometimes.

    What a meteoric rise for Montero, eh?

    Surprised you don’t have anything to say about Pom/Yates? I know it is probably just a giant question mark.

    Go ahead and push up Kenley. He has spent his entire career being unnecessarily pushed down everyone’s rankings but he is the one guy that never actually falters. Rumors of his demise are always greatly exaggerated. In my book he is the second best closer of all-time and we have wasted his entire career nitpicking at it. Career WHIP of .9 even well past his prime. I doubt he sets any records because he does seem like a genuinely unlikable guy and I think his window will slam shut sooner than later but in terms of reliability and dominance he is the best I have ever seen with nothing more than a four seam fastball. The velocity is down but his cutter still works just fine. He has a really hard job of being the back of a bullpen that is always hot trash around him. His four seamer is the most magical pitch in the history of baseball I suspect. It doesn’t make sense but it just works. No execution or sequencing necessary. Do you watch these guys or more study the boxscores? To be clear, I think the boxscores are what matter with RP usage. Long story short, Kenley seems like a real jerk. He just throws over to first just to make the opposition have to get back. Its cringy but kind of funny once you know it is coming. Look at the expressions on the runners faces lol.

    What do you think of inflating the value of STL RP? Those double headers and ll the games should provide a lot of action.

    Want a laugh? Look at Craig Kimbrell’s K-BB%. I won’t spoil it for you.

  4. Big Joey says:

    I have Felix Pena, Matt Strahm, and Gregory Soto as SP/RP Holds guys. Who do you think gets more Holds chances going forward, thanks for any input!

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