Top Five MLB Holds Leaders In 2013

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Tuesday June 25th, 2013

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Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Depending on the year, we can usually say if it is pitcher-dominant or hitter-dominant. This year, it is very hard to say. One could make the case that the MLB is being dominated by hitters with Miguel Cabrera tallying over 70 RBI before July.

That argument could be helped by the facts that Cole Hamels already has 11 losses and Justin Verlander has a high three ERA. Either way, the season will still go on and pitchers and hitters will still record their statistics.

One statistic that is not looked at or talked about much is the hold. A hold is given when a reliever enters in a save situation, records an out, and leaves the game without having given up the lead, but also does not get a save.

Usually the guys that get the most holds are setup men. In this piece, I’ll take a look at the top five (with a bonus!) holds leaders for the year.

Mitchell Boggs (2012 Holds Leader in some lighter days)

Bonus: Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers, 16 Holds

Kenley Jansen has been solid this year for the Dodgers and could see some time as closer should Brandon League falter.

Kenley Jansen has been solid this year for the Dodgers and will see some time as closer as Brandon League faltered. He must have early success to keep onto this position.  As he will be seeing more Games Finished, he will fall off of this list.

Jansen was pegged as a possible closer for the Dodgers last season and at the start of this season. He definitely has the stuff. The only person in his way was Brandon League, whom the Dodgers signed for a massive contract.

Now that League has faltered, Jansen will get a shot at the closer role. Because of this, we will see a dip in his number of holds, but I do not think anyone will be too disappointed about that. This year, Jansen is 1-3 with a 2.50 ERA, a .94 WHIP, and 51 K.

5. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals, 17 Holds

Trevor  Rosenthal, 22, was called up mid-season in 2012 and made his major league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 18th. By season's end, he had appeared in 19 games. He posted an ERA of 2.78 and had a high strikeout total of 25 in just 22.2 Innings Pitched. Rosenthal has a high velocity fastball that allows him to be very effective out of the bullpen late in games.

Trevor Rosenthal, 22, was called up mid-season in 2012 and made his major league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 18th. By season’s end, he had appeared in 19 games. He posted an ERA of 2.78 and had a high strikeout total of 25 in just 22.2 Innings Pitched. Rosenthal has a high velocity fastball that allows him to be very effective out of the bullpen late in games.

Rosenthal is undoubtedly going to be a closer in the future. He’s a flamethrower and has great stuff. The Cardinals bullpen has been a bit shaky, so he could see a few save opportunities in the near future.

This season he has been very good going 1-1 with a great 1.91 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to go along with 53 K.

Robertson and Rosenthal have the same amount of holds, so they could be flipped in any order.

4. David Robertson, New York Yankees, 17 Holds

I just chose to make Robertson four and Rosenthal five. Robertson is no stranger to the closer role as he stepped in for Mariano Rivera last year when Rivera tore his ACL. Unfortunately for Robertson, he also got injured after a short time closing. Robertson has a 2.67 ERA to go with a 1.02 WHIP, 39 K, and 4-1 record. If Mariano should get injured, God forbid, Robertson should step in and get some saves.

I just chose to make Robertson four and Rosenthal five. Robertson is no stranger to the closer role as he stepped in for Mariano Rivera last year when Rivera tore his ACL. Unfortunately for Robertson, he also got injured after a short time closing.

Robertson has a 2.67 ERA to go with a 1.02 WHIP, 39 K, and 4-1 record. If Mariano should get injured, God forbid, Robertson should step in and get some saves.

3. Joel Peralta, Tampa Bay Rays, 18 Holds

Joel  Peralta has been a bit shaky this year and has racked up 18 holds.

Joel Peralta has been a bit shaky this year and has racked up 18 holds.  The Rays Bullpen has struggled to keep leads, and it is showing up in the results.  At least Fernando Rodney shutdown the Blue Jays for his 16rh Save yesterday.

Peralta has been a little bit iffy this year, going 1-4 with a 3.21 ERA and 34 K and a 1.13 WHIP. At the start of the season, many thought there was no way for Peralta to come into the closer role.

Fernando Rodney has not been what he was last year, but Peralta is not exactly a better option. Regardless, Peralta has racked up the saves and should continue to do so for the rest of the season.

2. Jesse Crain, Chicago White Sox, 18 Holds

In addition to be up there in the Holds Categories, Crain has been about the best Reliever in the AL for the 2013 campaign.  In 34.2 IP, he has a 0.52 ERA - and has only yielded 26 Hits and 11 Walks.  The Canadian has also yet to surrender a HR in 2013,

In addition to be up there in the Holds Categories, Crain has been about the best Reliever in the AL for the 2013 campaign. In 34.2 IP, he has a 0.52 ERA – and has only yielded 26 Hits and 11 Walks. The Canadian has also yet to surrender a HR in 2013,

Crain has been a notorious eighth inning guy for his career. He will definitely be a trade target for contenders before the trade deadline. I could see a team like the Tigers trading for him with the absence of Jose Valverde.

This might not happen, though, because the Tigers and White Sox are in the same division. This year Crain is 2-1 with a .53 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 44 K. Addison Reed has been doing a pretty good job as closer so if Crain remains on the team I do not see him taking over.

1. Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates, 22 Holds

Melancon has traveled his fair share over the past few years seeing time with the Astros and Red Sox. He looks to have found a home with the Pirates, however, posting a great .99 ERA while going 1-1 with 39 K and a .88 WHIP. I would say that Melancon could be a trade target, but the Pirates might not want to trade him if they contend.  melancon had a great 2011 campaign with the Houston Astros - going 8-4 with a 2.78 in 74 Appearances and 20 Saves.

Melancon has traveled his fair share over the past few years seeing time with the Astros and Red Sox. He looks to have found a home with the Pirates, however, posting a great .99 ERA while going 1-1 with 39 K and a .88 WHIP. I would say that Melancon could be a trade target, but the Pirates might not want to trade him if they contend. Melancon last had a great 2011 campaign with the Houston Astros – going 8-4 with a 2.78 in 74 Appearances and 20 Saves.

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***

Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter.

Bernie Olshansky

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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on June 25, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Top Five MLB Holds Leaders In 2013.

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