Before we try to predict the best sources of holds in 2011, let’s take a look back.
Some roles have changed. Opportunities and player productiveness will change. But it’s worth discussing the 2010 holds leaders.
Those of you in holds leagues will remember that the leaderboard fluctuated early on, but it only took a few weeks until our eventual holds king and runner-up, Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams, made the top of the list.
And while they dominated both halves, there were several players that rose and fell in the rankings below them.
Let’s take a look at all of the relievers with 20 or more holds in 2010. Rk is where the player ranked in their respective leagues:
2010 Holds Leaders
Note that 27 pitchers earned 20 or more holds last season. It’s not represented in the list, but 80 held 10 or more games.
It’s also worth noting that three players in the top 8, four in the top 10 and five of the top 12 are all on different teams this year.
So, expect shakeups at the top of the leaderboard in 2011. Guys who are moving might not get as many holds or may get an expanded role. Their departure also leaves a holds vacancy in their old bullpen.
The guys in the top 12 changing stadiums: Scott Downs (TOR–>ANA), Arthur Rhodes (CIN–>TEX), Joaquin Benoit (TB–>DET), Matt Guerrier (MIN–>LAD) and Pedro Feliciano (NYM–>NYY).
Two other players on the list, Matt Thornton (CHW) and Fernando Rodney (ANA), will the starting closers for their respective teams in 2011. That means more holds should be available in their bullpens.
Tomorrow we’ll take a quick look at a number of key bullpen situations.