Holds and ranking the top 20 NL setup men that will get them for you in 2010

There was never a intention to write AL-only and NL-only holds posts, but my mistake is your gain.

Luckily reader Jim spotted the mistake in yesterdays, ahem, AL-Only holds ranking and left a comment about it. “Where’s Luke Gregerson?” A simple enough question that led to me asking, “hey ep, where are ALL the NL holds guys?” Well, there right here in the NL-only version of yesterday’s post.

Like I said in response to Jim yesterday, that one mistake means that we’re going deep into the holds category at Chinstrap Ninja in 2010. For hold addicted readers like Jodwin and Jim we’re going more than 20 deep in each league.

The same criteria and research done for the AL listing — detailed in the 2010 holds guide, sorry, 2010 AL Holds Guide — were done for this one. On to the rankings:

1. John Grabow – Picking the top of this list was he most difficult part. There are several guys who could take the top spot. Grabow is taking Carlos Marmol’s job in Chicago. Marmol had 27 holds last season — despite taking over the closer role during the season — and had 30 the season before. Grabow had 23 holds last season and 16 the year before.

2. Luke Gregerson – Consider Gregerson 1B out of this group only because he’s got one season with 15 or more holds under his belt. However, that was a 27 hold season AND Heath Bell had 23- and 34-hold seasons in 2008 and 2007 in the same position. If it wasn’t for Mike Adams and Edward Mujica, who could both siphon holds, Gregerson might be 1A. I like Gregerson’s K rate better.

3. Todd Coffey – The Brewers have had six players with 20 or more saves in the last three seasons, the most in the majors. Coffey had 27 holds last season and is in the same role as Brewers setup man in 2010.

4. Ryan Madson — The Phillies have had six players score 15 or more holds in the last three seasons, but Madson’s 26 in 2009 was the highest of all of them. He also had 17 in 2008.

5. Jeremy Affeldt – Only once in the last three seasons did Affeldt amass 15 or more holds. That was last year and he had a best-in-the-majors 33 with the Giants. He’s in the same role in 2010. He’ll get 20 without breaking a sweat.

6. Pedro Feliciano – Sean Green is ahead of him on the bullpen depth chart, but Feliciano has 24, 21 and 18 holds in the last three seasons. The Mets have had 10 players accumulate 15 or more holds in the last three seasons, the most in the Majors. Feliciano has been the one constant.

7. Bob Howry –Arizona didn’t produce a single player with 15 or more holds in 2009, but the Diamondbacks have five players with 20 or more and two with 30 or more in the last three seasons. Howry had 15 holds in 2008 and 22 in 2007. He has to contend with Juan Guttierez and Aaron Heilman in the D’Backs ‘pen, but Howry surprises in this category in 2010.

8. Pete Moylan – Individually, Moylan only has one season that fit the criteria researched for this list, but it was a 25-hold season in 2009. The Braves have plenty of holds to go around, so expect Moylan to return to form, if Takashi Saito isn’t better than him.

9. LaTroy Hawkins – A second Brewers player? Yep. The Brewers have averaged two 20-hold players per season for the last three years. Hawkins had 19 holds in 2009 and 18 in 2007 with the Astros, who aren’t nearly as generous with their holds.

10. Kyle McClellan – He only had 15 holds in 2010, less than teammate Dennys Reyes (18) and the same as Jason Motte. However, McClellan had 30 holds in 2008. A  Cardinals player had to make the top 10. Saint Louis’ seven players with 15 or more holds in the last three years is tied for third best in the NL.

11. Esmailin Caridad –The Cubs are tied with the Cardinals, however they have more 20-hold relievers in their recent history. Caridad sits behind Grabow on the depth chart and could get what Grabow and Angel Guzman (who will miss 2009) got in Chicago last year.

12. Brandon Lyon– It’s been two years since Lyon had 15 or more holds because he was trying his luck in a closer role. However, in 2007 he had 35 holds. As one of the setup men in Houston, he could approach that number again.

13. Matt Lindstrom – Put Lindstrom here because he’s the other setup guy in Houston. He had a 19-hold season in 2007 and Lyon isn’t exactly the most reliable reliever in baseball. I wouldn’t own both of them if I were you. Just pick one and keep your fingers crossed.

14. Arthur Rhodes – With the Reds in 2009, Rhodes had only two fewer holds than Gregerson and Marmol. The Reds have averaged one 20-hold reliever per season since 2007.

15. Sean Green — Despite never having a season with 15 or more holds, Green’s a lock for that mark in 2010 and 20 is a good possibility. Mr. Met oozes holds out of his stitching holes.

16. Dan Meyer – In the same spot in 2010 that he was when he held 20 games in 2009, Meyer could easily match or surpass that mark. The Marlins averaged two 15-hold performances per season in the last three years.

17. Nick Masset – Had 20 holds for the Reds in 2009. Only the Brewers and Reds had two players with 20 or more holds in 2009.

18. Mike Adams – The Padres are averaging more than one 20-hold player per season since 2007. Adams had 15 in 2009, so that makes him the frontrunner for the No. 2 spot behind Gregerson.

19. Danys Baez – Had 15 saves for Baltimore last season and will battle with JC Romero to be the second Phillies player to hit 20 holds in 2010.

20. Dennys Reyes – His 18 holds led the Cardinals last season.

Bonus Round

The NL is far more giving than the AL when it comes to holds. For instance, Edward Mujica, the top setup man in San Diego according to MLB.com, could outproduce Gregerson or Adams in 2010 … Brian Bruney is the top setup man for the Nats, a team that produced a 30-hold season three years ago … George Sherrill and Ramon Troncoso will compete for holds in LA. Three years ago Jonathan Broxton put up 32 holds for the Dodgers … Replace Moylan’s name with Takashi Saito‘s up in the meat of the post and you’d be in line with a couple other holds listings out there … With Huston Street’s injury, Franklin Morales is in line to be the closer. Manny Corpas is the top holds guy in Colorado … Jason Motte was going to be the Cardinals closer in 2009. I know because I drafted him. He did have 15 holds in 2010 and if his skills made him a good closer candidate, they also make him a good setup candidate.

Be sure to visit our 2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings page for more sleepers, busts and a couple different kinds of rankings.

2 Responses to “Holds and ranking the top 20 NL setup men that will get them for you in 2010”


  1. Holds update 4.19.10: Ranking the top setup men in fantasy baseball at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] player worth mentioning is LaTroy Hawkins, one of the top NL setup men entering the season. He has four holds but has also had an unfortunate start to [...]

  2. Holds update 6.27.10: Brandon Lyon, Kameron Loe climbing at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] Pedro Feliciano (Ranking score: 58, previous rank: N/A) — Feliciano was sixth in our preseason NL setup men rankings, but this is his first appearance on the update. He’s seventh in holds in the last month and [...]