Jordan Zimmerman - Jordan Zimmerman faced the Royals and gave up 2 ER with seven strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. Zimmerman has not been nearly as sharp in the second half (4.48 xFIP) as he was in the first half (3.28 xFIP). The two biggest culprits are walks and HRs as the right hander's BB/9 has jumped from 1.22 to 4.40 while his HR/9 has spiked from 0.68 to 2.05. Obviously, that kind of shift in two key advanced metrics is not good news for Zimmerman and his fantasy owners. I've always thought Zimmerman was a bit overrated as his ERAs have consistently been far below his xFIP marks, so perhaps, we're seeing him finally experience some bad luck/regression. He's a risky play right now as he works through his control and long ball issues, even with Saturday's solid outing against a weak-hitting Kansas City team.
Randall Delgado - Randall Delgado faced the Phillies on Saturday and yielded 3 ER on three hits with six strikeouts in six innings. Prior to Saturday's outing, Delgado owned a 3.82 ERA and 3.82 xFIP in 77 innings in the big leagues this season. He's recorded a solid strikeout-to-walk rate of 3.44, but has struggled with the long ball (15% HR/FB%, 1.51 HR/9). Delgado owns a strong 35% chase rate, but his swinging strike percentage is below average at 8.4% because batters are making above average contact on those pitches outside the zone. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but does suppress his whiff rate. He's a decent option in deeper leagues and a spot starter in shallower formats.
Shelby Miller - Shelby Miller struck out six Braves in seven innings while allowing 1 ER. Miller entered the outing with a 9.84 K/9, 2.78 BB/9 and 1.02 HR/9 in 132 innings this season. He had also recorded a 2.98 ERA and 3.35 xFIP. While Miller is posting a lot of strikeouts, his swinging strike percentage is pretty much league average at 9.5% and his chase rate is under 30%. On the other hand, he's done a great job working ahead in the count with a 63% first-pitch strike percentage. Miller should continue to miss bats, but the aforementioned peripherals are a bit troubling.
Allen Craig - Al Craig went 1-for-2 with two walks on Saturday versus Atlanta as he continues his solid season. Craig broke onto the scene last year by posting a .215 ISO and clubbing 22 HRs in 119 games to go along with a .307/.354/522 slash line. I expected similar numbers in 2013 and, while Craig has maintained his excellent batting average (.309 prior to Saturday) as well as RBI ability (90 RBI thanks to an unsustainably high batting average with RISP), his power has dwindled a bit. Craig only has 12 HRs while his ISO has fallen by about 60 points and his SLG% has dropped by even more. He's a very solid option at first base, but I actually thought he'd be a top-5 play there this year and the lack of power has held him back.
Jedd Gyorko - The Padres' Jedd Gyorko went 0-for-4 on Saturday against the Cubs - a rare bad game of late - and now has a .251/.297/.446 season slash line. Gyorko has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the past couple of weeks, posting a .302/.315/.717 slash line with 38 total bases in his last 15 games prior to Saturday. And while his past month hasn't been nearly as good from a batting average and OBP perspective, the second baseman does own a .522 SLG% over his past 30 days, so the power has been improving for awhile now. I talked about Gyorko having 20-HR potential in the preseason and after a disappointing first half, he seems to be finding his stride during the dog days of summer.
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