Thurday April 19th, 2012
Ryan Ritchey: Most teams are 12 games in to this 162 game season, with many teams having played close games in all 12. With that in mind I would like to check out the stat that no one really pays attention to (except some hardcore fantasy baseball fans)… that being holds. For those of you that don’t know what a hold, is let me explain. A hold by definition is when a relief pitcher enters the game in a save situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game without his team giving up the lead- with also not recording the save. That is a lot to take in at one time but it all works out in the end on the stat sheet.
Now that you know what a hold is, let’s take a look at the top ten relievers in holds:
10. David Hernandez ARI - 3 holds, Arizona has gone on a hot streak and it is because of their pitching. With Upton not producing, the pitching is taking most of the responsibility on their shoulders and are doing a great job. Hernandez in 7 appearances has 8 strikeouts to only 2 walks allowed. He also has one blown save.
9. Tyler Clippard WAS – 3 holds, 6.00 ERA in 6 innings pitched. Has only walked 2 and struck out 6 which is a good sign for a late inning man on a team that looks really good early in the season.
8. Joe Smith CLE – 3 holds, 6 strikeouts but also has a 3.00 ERA which won’t get him many holds throughout the season. So expect him to drop out of the top ten in the near future.
7. Edward Mujica MIA - 3 holds, he also has a blown save which could hurt his chances of being the 8th inning man if that continues. 6 appearances and has 6 innings pitched. The downside for him is he has a 6.oo ERA.
6. Matt Guerrier LAD – 3 holds, has a 2.70 ERA in 7 appearances this season. The Dodgers are the team to beat right now in the National League and for it to stay that way they will need their bullpen to be strong. Guerrier looks to be the guy right now that Mattingly is putting out their to shut down opponents in the 8th.
5. Jason Frasor TOR - 3 holds, with the Blue Jays playing in a lot of one run games with that good pitching rotation of theirs, Frasor is going to need to be the guy handing the ball off to Cordero and/or Santos. If he doesn’t do that the Blue Jays are going to have a long season, in a year I have them making the playoffs.
4. Matt Thornton CWS - 3 holds, Thornton will be the guy in the 8th for the White Sox (pending being the closer). With very commanding stuff, Thornton is a shut down reliever. He is a major part of the equation in this Sox pen. He either makes or breaks the White Sox sticking with the Tigers late in the year.
3. Joaquin Benoit DET – 4 holds, with the starting pitching the Tigers have, he should expect to get the ball a lot in the late innings. If he can shut down the 8th, everyone in the majors knows Valverde will come through in the 9th on most nights.
2. Alexi Ogando TEX – 4 holds, he is second behind his teammate Mike Adams for the league leader in holds. Texas also has great starting pitching and it will just depend on who has the hot hand, when Ron Washington goes to the pen in the 8th. Either guy will get it done, no doubt.
1. Mike Adams TEX – 5 holds, leads the majors. With him being a guy you can throw out everyday for three straight days, Ron Washington has to feel good about his bullpen. With Feliz going to the rotation, Adams has to step up and be a leader in the bullpen and he has been just that so far this season. Look for him to stay atop this list the rest of the season as the Rangers win many close games.
The one big name you should watch for throughout the season in the holds category is Johnny Venters. He is going to be the set-up guy for the Braves and he a good candidate to keep the game where it is when they give the ball to Kimbrel in the 9th.
Ryan Ritchey is a MLB reports Baseball Intern. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)
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