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Getting A Grip On Holds: Relief Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups

By mjl816 on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile the holds statistic is even harder to predict than saves for closers, the players we highlight today feature some sleeper setup men and some looking to reclaim glory they once had. The more likely an MLB team is to win, the more likely these following relief pitchers will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

This week is the final days of the season. A few of the players featured here are on teams making the final push between more baseball or packing up and going home until next season. Others will look to just continue refining their game and make the good final impression on their respective coaches. Good luck with your finals days of the fantasy baseball home stretch RotoBallers. Let's win some leagues!


Ryan Cook, Oakland Athletics

7 holds, 3.42 ERA, 50.0 innings, 50 strikeouts, 1.08 WHIP

Primarily seen in the seventh inning, Ryan Cook is a good part of the Oakland Athletics bullpen. Once the closer briefly in 2012, Ryan Cook is now a middle reliever that usually shows up in the seventh inning. He generates a ground ball around 45% of the time. Cook throws a fastball in the mid 90s and a slider in the mid 80s. Ryan Cook is holding opponents to a .184 batting average with right-handed batters hitting just .138. He’s averaging a strikeout for every inning pitched and the Oakland Athletics are looking to keep the first Wild Card spot. All hands on deck for the final three games of the season.


Adam Warren, New York Yankees

22 holds, 3.07 ERA, 76.1 innings, 72 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

The New York Yankees are not in contention for postseason baseball but Adam Warren has had a solid season in the bullpen. Warren generates 45% ground balls and averages just under a strikeout per inning pitched. He turns to a fastball in the mid 90s and a slider in the mid 80s primarily. He keeps opponents to a .221 batting average. With three games left in the season, there is a good chance Adam Warren will see some work to finish off the season.


Dominic Leone, Seattle Mariners

7 holds, 2.20 ERA, 65.1 innings, 69 strikeouts, 1.16 WHIP

The Seattle Mariners are right on the edge of playing in postseason baseball. In the first season in the majors for Dominic Leone, the right-hander is having an impressive season. He’s averaging over a strikeout per inning with his fastball in the mid 90s, a cutter approaching 90 and a slider. Generally coming in for the seventh inning, Leone has gotten just seven holds with the season coming to an end but he keeps opponents to a .216 batting average. He keeps right-handed batters to a .163 batting average but left-handed batters are approaching .300 with a .295 batting average. The Mariners have a very strong bullpen and Leone is one of the dependable arms.


Sam Freeman, St. Louis Cardinals

11 holds, 2.43 ERA, 37.0 innings, 35 strikeouts, 1.35 WHIP

The St. Louis Cardinals are still intent on keeping the Pittsburgh Pirates from winning the Central and the relievers are as important to the team and their likeliness of winning the division as most of the players on the roster. Reliever Sam Freeman is likely the second left-handed reliever behind veteran Randy Choate but they likely will not be used in the same way. While Choate has the traditional splits of a lefty specialist .385 vs. RH batters, .085 vs. LH batters), Freeman is a reverse split pitcher. Opponents are hitting just .226 against Freeman but it’s the right-handed batters that are doing worse (.190) compared to the left-handed batters (.283). Freeman generates a ground ball 54.5% of the time and uses a fastball-changeup combination. He likely should not be used as a traditional left-handed reliever but he will be useful to the Cardinals in the final run of the season.


Marc Rzepczynski, Cleveland Indians

13 holds, 2.76 ERA, 45.2 innings (72 games), 46 strikeouts, 1.31 WHIP

The man with the complicated name, Marc Rzepczynski, is the primary left-handed reliever out of the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen. Rzepczynski is unlike Freeman in that he is a true lefty specialist. Pitching in 72 games but just 45.2 innings indicates he is just that. Against left-handed batters, Rzepczynski held left-handed batters to a .172 batting average in 107 plate appearances while right-handed batters had 87 plate appearances and they are hitting a solid .343 batting average. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and a slider in the mid 80s. He has primarily shown up in the sixth to eighth inning with 26 of his 72 games coming in the seventh inning.