The Wilhelmsen to save
As Jeff Sullivan of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's U.S.S. Mariner blog notes, Tom Wilhelmsen is back in control for the Seattle Mariners with a 2.70 ERA over his last 13 games (11 K's in 13 1/3 stanzas). He's cashed in on all seven of his SVOs this month and continues distancing himself from Oliver Perez, Yoervis Media and the other also-rans.
Sullivan notes that the likely issues that plagued Wilhelmsen earlier in the year came from his delivery and confidence. The righty seems to relish working with Mike Zunino, and his strike-zone appearances have been more frequent, which makes his curve work at its optimal form.
The San Diego Padres' Huston Street has rediscovered a groove, as well, thanks to a revision of the grip on his slider suggested by pitching coach Darren Balsley. The alteration has produced a tighter spin and sharper break. Its previous state probably explains, to a degree, the HR/9 problems he's had. He's not a stranger to allowing them, but it's been inflated.
His jarringly low season-long 5.94 K/9 doesn't yet reflect the seven punchouts he's recorded in his last five contests. His renewed bite on his main complementary offering should help that column the rest of the way.
Following a save Thursday night, Brad Ziegler hasn't allowed an earned run in his last eight appearances and has converted each of his five opportunities in that window (and on the season). The Arizona Diamondbacks have little incentive to alter the back end if he keeps pitching like this, but J.J. Putz (or, as mentioned above, Wilson?) will remain in the discussion because of his experience and the Snakes' potential postseason chase; they might want someone with experience retaking the gig if he straightens out.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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