While the top of the holds rankings has become a very exclusive club, the bottom third has been a rotating group.
This week some guys who we expected to be on this list a long time ago make an appearance. Of course, a couple of unfamiliar faces made the cut too.
The best setup men in the game, re-ranked for your fantasy baseball intentions:
Ranking score is based on holds and overall performance with more weight given to holds. All statistics and scores are as of Sunday morning. A player with a MO has consistently ranked with the top setup men this season and is considered a must-own player.
Top setup men for 6.27.10
1. Luke Gregerson, MO (Ranking score: 11, previous rank: 1) — Gregerson has been ranked first in three of the last four updates. He’s been in the top five in each of the last six updates, dating back to May 5.
2. Daniel Bard, MO (Ranking score: 12, previous rank: 6) — An identical score to No. 3 Mike Adams, but Bard’s ahead because he’s got more holds in the last month and has been slightly more beneficial in the other fantasy statistics.
3. Mike Adams, MO (Ranking score 12, previous rank: 4) — Has been the holds leader for a long time and tied with Bard to lead the majors with four holds in the last week.
4. Tyler Clippard, MO (Ranking score: 29, previous rank: 2) — Suffering his first loss since May 18, Clippard allowed four runs and four hits in two innings Friday. It’s not a sign of things to come, call it balance. Clippard had a 0.49 ERA in his previous 17 appearances. Only Gregerson and Adams have been more consistently ranked at the top of this list.
5. Brandon Lyon, MO (Ranking score: 34, previous rank: 11) — Lyon has quickly pushed himself up the rankings, going from 15th to 11th to fifth in the last three updates. He also is second in holds in the last month, third in the last week. His recent success has pushed him into the top 10 overall in holds.
6. Fernando Rodney, MO (Ranking score: 48, previous rank: 7) — This makes Rodney’s second consecutive top seven ranking. He is fourth in holds in the last month and sixth in the last week. His ERA has been climbing since a bad outing June 13, but he’s still one of the best sources of holds in the game.
7. Hong-Chih Kuo, MO (Ranking score: 52, previous rank: 5) — Since debuting on the holds update, Kuo has been in the top nine in every ranking and in the top seven in four of five. His holds have been trickling in of late, but he is still a source of help in the other 5×5 stats.
8. Kameron Loe (Ranking score: 52, previous rank: N/A) — Thought about pushing Loe above Kuo, but Kuo’s consistency made me think twice. Loe, however, was tied for the third most holds in the week and is the fifth best reliever overall in the rankings. A starter two years ago in the majors, Loe was in the AAA rotation before his callup. But in the last month he has shown lights-out stuff as a late innings reliever. Loe has a 0.59 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP. While both numbers are far below his career statistics he showed considerable improvement as a reliever last season, so this just may be evolution into a new role. Loe is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues at this point. If you who missed out on the MO guys, and if he can keep this up, Loe could be one of the best adds you make this season.
9. Jonny Venters (Ranking score 54, previous rank: N/A) — Has holds in three of his last four appearances and hasn’t given up an earned run since June 16. Takashi Saito has recently returned from the DL and could limit Venters hold opportunities. But Venters has dominated hitters — except for his 18 walks — while Saito has struggled since coming back. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Venters back on this list next update.
10. Arthur Rhodes, MO (Ranking score: 57, previous rank: 9) — Despite pitching effectively, Rhodes has been slowly falling down the rankings as he has gotten fewer holds. He’s still tied for eighth in the majors, but he’s been falling in that ranking, too.
11. 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 11th on the season. Expect him to be back on this list.
12. Kyle McClellan (Ranking score: 58, previous rank: N/A) — Like Feliciano, McClellan had a place in our preseason rankings (10th in the NL) and is making his first update appearance. McClellan is tied for sixth in holds in the last week and tied for 11th in the last month.
13. Joba Chamberlain, MO (Ranking score: 59, previous rank: 13) — Recent performance hurt Chamberlain’s ranking this week. He hasn’t been effective overall and hasn’t produced as many holds. He’s still fourth overall in 2010 and seventh in the last month.
14. Brandon League (Ranking score: 59, previous rank: N/A) — Talked about League in our Closer SitRep last week, because he’s in line to be the closer in Seattle. While David Aardsma is away from the team for the birth of his child, League will take over ninth inning duties. When Aardsma returns, League could be an upcoming source for holds. He was tied for sixth in holds in the last week and has been a very effective reliever this season.
15. Kevin Jepsen (Ranking score: 61, previous rank: 78) — Rodney has been better for the Angels and has gotten more holds opportunities as a result. Still, Jepsen is tied for fourth in the majors in holds and is 11th in the last month. Last update he was close to regaining MO status, but he hasn’t earned it yet.
Knocked out: Scott Downs (10th), Sergio Santos (11th), Sean Marshall (13th), Santiago Casilla (13th), Ronald Belisario (15th).
Players to watch
Besides the players knocked out since last update — Downs was a must-own last update — there are a couple others we need to keep our eyes on: Matt Thornton is fourth in holds in the last month and was tied for sixth in the last week … J.J. Putz was the most effective setup reliever in the last month, he just doesn’t have the holds to show for it … Tied for 11th in holds this season, Matt Guerrier is also among the best setup relievers in overall performance (15th) … Wilton Lopez was one of a handful of players who had two holds in the last week. He was also 16th in overall performance in the last month … Overall performance has helped Darren O’Day and Darren Oliver make this list. Both have made the update before … Closer-of-the-future Drew Storen is a good prospect to add in keeper/dynasty leagues. He is tied for 11th in the last month in holds and is sixth in the last week.