Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Picking Up The Slack

Friday, September 14, 2012

Seeing Stephen Strasburg listed among two-start pitchers has been an exciting occurrence for fantasy owners this year, but sadly we won't find his name again now that the phenom has been shut down by Washington.

Fortunately, the Nationals have a strong remaining group to fall back on. John Lannan has taken Strasburg's place in the rotation and he performed well in his return. He's listed as a streamer suggestion below. Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler have obviously been very good. And then there's Jordan Zimmermann, next week's two-start pitcher for the Nats.

Zimmermann's overall numbers this year are very good: 3.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 137/37 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. Yet, he's looked more human since the All-Star break, with a 3.66 ERA after finishing the first half with an incredible 2.61 mark. Only two of Zim's eight starts since the beginning of August have been quality. He's given up five homers in his last five starts, which is the same number he had allowed in 14 previous starts.

This isn't meant to diminish the right-hander, who remains an integral cog in Washington's rotation and a recommended option with home starts against the Dodgers and Brewers this week. But with Strasburg gone, the Nationals will need Zimmermann to once again find that next level.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Ryan Dempster: @LAA (Santana), @SEA (Millwood)
Jeremy Hellickson: BOS (Doubront), TOR (Romero)
A.J. Griffin: @DET (Scherzer), @NYY (Pettitte)
Max Scherzer: OAK (Griffin), MIN (Walters)

Decent Plays

Alex Cobb: BOS (Cook), TOR (Morrow)
Andy Pettitte: TOR (Romero), OAK (Griffin)
Ervin Santana: TEX (Dempster), CWS (Floyd)
Miguel Gonzalez: @SEA (Noesi), @BOS (Doubront)

At Your Own Risk

Ricky Romero: @NYY (Pettitte), @TB (Hellickson)
P.J. Walters: @CLE (Gomez), @DET (Scherzer)
Luke Hochevar: CWS (Floyd), CLE (Gomez)
Gavin Floyd: @KC (Hochevar), @LAA (Santana)
Jeanmar Gomez: MIN (Walters), @KC (Hochevar)
Felix Doubront: @TB (Hellickson), BAL (Gonzalez)
Aaron Cook: @TB (Cobb), BAL (Tillman)

National League

Strong Plays

Jordan Zimmermann: LAD (Harang), MIL (Estrada)
Kyle Lohse: HOU (Lyles), @CHC (Wood)
Madison Bumgarner: COL (Chacin), SD (Kelly)
A.J. Burnett: MIL (Estrada), @HOU (Keuchel)
R.A. Dickey: PHI (Lee), MIA (Nolasco)
Cliff Lee: @NYM (Dickey), ATL (Hudson)
Marco Estrada: @PIT (Burnett), @WAS (Zimmermann)

Decent Plays

Tim Lincecum: COL (Francis), SD (Werner)
Kevin Correia: @CHC (Germano), @HOU (Gonzalez)
Aaron Harang: @WAS (Zimmermann), @CIN (Leake)
Jhoulys Chacin: @SF (Bumgarner), ARI (Corbin)
Travis Wood: CIN (Leake), STL (Lohse)
Tim Hudson: @MIA (LeBlanc), @PHI (Lee)
Ian Kennedy: SD (Volquez), @COL (Francis)

At Your Own Risk

Jeff Francis: @SF (Lincecum), ARI (Kennedy)
Mike Leake: @CHC (Wood), LAD (Harang)
Justin Germano: PIT (Correia), STL (Wainwright)

continue story »
Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter at nnelson9.
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