We’re back with another edition of the holds update. Some minor movement at the the top this week — Luke Gregerson is your new leader — and we have a handful of fresh faces.
Had to make some minor corrections to the rankings this week. Nobody had more than two holds, but 16 players had two, so I adjusted the points totals debuted and explained last update to battle some of the zaniness.
Like last update, the players are ranked in order of points. The number in parentheses is the player’s ranking last update:
1. Luke Gregerson, 11 (2) — Our new leader. Last update I explained how his strikeout rate made him more valuable than Mike Adams and this ranking reflects it.
2. Tyler Clippard, 15 (7) — Our leader two updates ago jumps back into the top two thanks to a strong week, top five holds for the season and the best overall performance (K rate, ERA, WHIP, etc.) of anybody on this list.
3. Mike Adams, 18 (1) — Skips down to here only because his overall numbers can’t compare to Gregerson or Clippard. He did match the league leader in holds this week and has more than any reliever in the last month or this season. A true holds god, he does have a 10.48 K/9 and a 0.90 WHIP.
4. Arthur Rhodes, 18 (3) — Had Rhodes had one more hold this week, he would have surpassed Adams. Rhodes is second in holds in the last month, third this season. If you add his season ERA and season WHIP you get a ridiculous 1.09.
5. Brad Zeigler, 27 (13) — On the strength of a two-hold week, and the third best holds total in the last month, Zeigler jumps up eight spots. He doesn’t perform as well overall as the other setup men in the top five, but he’s been gathering holds in bunches.
6. Hong-Chih Kuo, 29 (5) — Steady work by Kuo. He’s climbed into the top 7 in the season holds department and is tied for second in the last month. Like I said last update, I picked him up in a league where Adams was available. Let’s play the ERA+WHIP game again. Kuo’s 2.38 is third behind Rhodes and Gregerson (2.22).
7. Scott Downs, 34 (10) — Still climbing, after a disastrous stretch weeks ago, Downs is now tied for the third most holds in the majors. His ERA, WHIP and Ks aren’t that impressive.
8. Daniel Bard, 39 (11) — One of the players who caused the ranking adjustments. Bard had two holds this week, skewing his ranking a bit because he wasn’t even in the top 14 in holds in the last month. He is top 7 in overall rankings and season holds, so he is a must-own holds option at this point.
9. Brian Duensing, 39 (NR) — Duensing had his number corrected the other way. He didn’t have two holds in the last week, but is in the top 8 in the last month and also has top-10 overall numbers. He is rising, but like Zeigler and Downs, I wish his K rate was more promising.
10. Joel Hanrahan, 40 (6) — We predicted a drop for Hanrahan because of his overall numbers — namely his WHIP and ERA. His K rate is a sexy 14.68, the highest on this list and he’s still gobbling up holds — third in the last month, 10th-best total in 2010.
11. Nick Masset, 41 (NR) — Masset was not rated in our last update, but he was on our list of rising relievers. Since then he’s moved into a tie for the eighth best holds total in the last month. All six of his holds have come since April 30. He gave up five earned runs in the season opener and hasn’t been able to get his ERA under 6.36 this season. It’s currently hovering at 7.36 and he’s got a ridiculous 1.95 WHIP. That’s two baserunners per inning. He does have a 13.91 K/9. He ranks 11th here, but is as likely to get you an L as he is a HLD.
12. David Robertson, 41 (NR) — Another cautionary reliever to own, Robertson is also tied for eighth this month in holds and has equally menacing overall numbers, only with less Ks (10.91/9).
13. Joba Chamberlain, 44 (4) — He’s allowed 10 earned runs and 14 baserunners in his last five innings, with a loss, a blown save and two holds. Those numbers are killing your ERA, WHIP and fantasy will. Bench Chamberlain until he rights the ship.
14. Joe Beimel, 48 (NR) — A few updates ago, when this list was only 10 deep, Beimel would have been a riser. The Rockies reliever only has seven holds this season — five in the last month — with dirty ERA (0.48) and WHIP (0.80) numbers in 2010. The only run he’s allowed all season was in his first appearance April 16.
15. Matt Guerrier, 55 (NR) — The first appearance in our rankings updates for Guerrier, one of our preseason favorites. He has five holds in the last month and is in the top 10 this season, but hasn’t been nearly as worthy as we predicted.
Knocked out since the last update: Kevin Jepsen (9th), Todd Coffey (14th), Darren O’Day (12th), Ryan Perry (8th).
Players on the rise:
Joaquin Benoit — Benoit had two holds in the last week and has top 11 overall statistics. The 32-year-old hasn’t allowed a run this season and struck out nine consecutive batters in three outings from May 17 to May 23. If his week is a sign of things to come, he’ll be in the regular rankings in no time.
Daniel Ray Herrera — Barely missed the cut. He’s gone through a recent rough patch — 12 baserunners and three earned runs in just 3.1 IP at one point — but has holds in each of his last two outings.
Chris Perez — As the setup man to Kerry Wood, Perez will still get a few saves, but he has moved into his eighth-inning role nicely, recording a pair of holds in the last week. For leagues that score both holds and saves, Perez will be one of the most valuable relievers in fantasy baseball in 2010.
Ronald Belisario — Has seven holds in the last month and eight this season. His ERA is really chunky, but you have to sit up and take notice of his holds pace. He had holds in four consecutive outings from May 14-21 and had holds in six of seven outings from May 6-21.
Other players to keep on your radar: Sergio Santos, Takashi Saito, Sean Marshall, Evan Meek, Matt Thornton and Joel Zumaya.