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Getting A Grip: Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds (Week 14)


By Aunti Juli on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

While the holds statistic is hard to play for since it is difficult to determine who will enter the game and if it will be in the right situation, the players featured today include some overlooked players and some that are looking to reclaim glory they once had. The more likely the team is to win, the more likely these following players will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

This week, a couple of up and coming relievers are recognized for their recent and future accomplishments. A few proven relievers are also acknowledged as consistent and dependable arms for both their teams and yours, if you want them.

 

Editor's Note: This piece is part of a weekly series on relief pitcher targets for holds. You can follow the entire series of holds analysis and sleepers to stay ahead of your competition.

 

Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants

11 holds, 1.37 ERA, 26.1 innings, 22 strikeouts

By Aunti Juli on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe veteran Jeremy Affeldt is near the top of the holds category this season and it simply is no surprise. With the third best record, the Giants provide their pitchers with plenty of win opportunities and in 29 games Affeldt has come in with the lead 17 times.

He does not throw as hard as he once did but he is still one of the most dependable relievers in baseball. With the Giants one of baseball's top teams, expectations are high that Affeldt will not only see plenty of opportunity for holds,  but he will convert them as well.

 

Yoervis Medina, Seattle Mariners

11 holds, 2.48 ERA, 29.0 innings, 30 strikeouts

Among the leaders in holds this season, Yoervis Medina has found himself a strong role as the "go to guy" in the eighth inning for the Seattle Mariners. Of his 32 appearances this season, Medina has shown up in the eighth inning 20 times. More importantly, 15 of his appearances this season have come with the lead. With a fastball approaching an average speed of 95, Medina compliments it with a mid 80s slider and has proven to be a dependable reliever in the Mariners’ bullpen.

 

Sam Freeman, St. Louis Cardinals

5 holds, 1.80 ERA, 15.0 innings, 14 strikeouts

After getting a taste of the major leagues in the past two seasons, Sam Freeman is trying to make a case to stick with the big league club for a longer time this season. After starting the season in the minors and then finding himself called upon in the middle of the game, Freeman now finds himself pitching regularly late in the game, seventh inning or later. Freeman is also not just a lefty specialist, he holds right-handed batters to a sub-.200 average. With the rotation in repair and pitchers like Carlos Martinez shifted into the rotation, Freeman could start seeing more chances to get the hold.

 

Craig Stammen, Washington Nationals

3 holds, 2.83 ERA, 41.1 innings, 34 strikeouts

The Nationals have some strong late bridge relievers in Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. A reliever that could go under the radar is righty Craig Stammen. The hindrance to Stammen and his opportunity for holds is his capability for pitching multiple innings. Many of Stammen's appearances this season (15 of 23) have been with the Nationals behind because he will often get the call as the long reliever to makeup for a starter’s struggles. If the Nationals can get some consistent starting pitching, Stammen may see a few more opportunities at holds but he will not be the likely first option.

 

Shae Simmons, Atlanta Braves

6 holds, 1.64 ERA, 11.0 innings, 10 strikeouts

Affectionately referred to by some Braves fans as “Baby Kimbrel,” Shae Simmons' early success in his career makes the bold comparison not seem so daring. Sporting a fastball in the mid 90s and a slider in the low 80s, the 23-year-old Simmons has been quickly exposed into high leverage situations. In 14 appearances this year, Simmons has entered eight games with the lead. Debuting in late May, he has already found himself in nine eighth inning appearances. I wouldn’t go as far to say Craig Kimbrel is on a hot seat, but Simmons could be a very effective member of the bridge to Kimbrel.