To this point during the regular season we’ve mostly focused on relievers who can get you saves, but about once a month I want to turn my attention to guys who are valuable in leagues that count holds or saves plus holds. In most cases, I’m just looking for good pitchers who will at least be used somewhere in the later innings. While these players are more valuable in leagues that count holds, they are also good names to know because if they ever were in line for saves, I believe they would be successful.

This list isn’t actually as long as I thought it would be, which just goes to show that it is still early, and good sources for saves are still emerging. Looking back at least season, a lot of the holds leaders came out of nowhere. Juan Nicasio led all of baseball with 10 holds in March and April but finished with 19. Steve Cishek had just three holds in April but finished the season tied for 28th. If you missed out on the early holds leaders, there is still hope for the rest of the season.

Archie Bradley has three holds, a win, two losses and a blown save. His ERA is the same as his WHIP, which is never a good sign, but 13 strikeouts in 10 innings is pretty good. He led the league in holds last year and while this team probably won’t be good enough for him to repeat, he still shouldn’t be dropped or benched in any league that counts holds.

All things being equal, I would rather have a closer or a setup man on a good team as opposed to a below average pitcher on a good team, which is where someone like Tony Watson comes in. Watson was tied for third with 32 holds last season, and he is tied for second with seven so far in 2019. I see no reason why he would slow down anytime soon.

Ty Buttrey probably should get the next shot at saves for the Angels, but I worry about his opportunities considering he rarely even pitches in the eighth inning. However, he has five saves on the season to go with 13 strikeouts and three walks in 9.1 innings.

Adam Ottavino tied for the league lead in holds last season and added 112 strikeouts, but he nearly has as many blown saves (2) as holds (3) this season. Ottavino has a 2.77 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13.0 innings, but he also has 10 walks after he finished last season with just 36 walks in 77.2 innings. Ottavino has at least one walk in each of his last seven appearances, and I probably need to see him string together a couple of outings without a walk before I’m ready to trust him.

It looks like my concerns about Raisel Iglesias were unfounded, but he leaves four good pitchers behind him capable of getting holds. David Hernandez has just seven strikeouts and five walks, and I’d need to see him get a few holds before I am ready to invest. My guess is Robert Stephenson leads the team in holds before it is all said and done, but it’s probably too early to add him outside of super deep leagues.

Is it possible San Diego is going to have the league leader in saves and the league leader in holds by the end of the season? Craig Stammen ’s strikeouts are down, and his FIP is up to 3.62 from 2.19 last season. Stammen had his best season by far in 2018, and I think I see regression on the horizon. I’m fine if you want to ride him while he’s hot, but out of everyone on the holds leader board right now, I probably trust Stammen the least.

At this point, it doesn’t seem particularly likely Brandon Morrow returns before the All-Star break, and if the Cubs ever get any holds, Steve Cishek should lead the way. Much like Archie Bradley , Cishek should probably be owned in every league that counts holds.