Seattle Mariners Midseason Grades: The Starters

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Jun 24, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Roenis Elias (29) throws against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Roenis Elias – 78 IP, 4.27 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 0.4 WAR

After starting the year in the minors, Elias came up to fill an injury-mandated hole and ended up turning in a lengthy string of excellent starts. It seemed like he was well on his way to besting his impressive 2014 debut, but it wasn’t long before he started to come undone. His trip to the minors was anticipated, though it was surprising to many that he earned his way to AAA. He seemed like the odd man out even before he forced his own demotion. That said, it’s hard to consider his season much of a failure – he’s done an admirable job of treading water despite what’s really his first-ever MLB struggles. Grade: C

James Paxton – 58.1 IP, 3.70 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 0.4 WAR

At the start of the season it seemed like nobody aside from Nelson Cruz really knew what they were doing, but give Paxton all the credit for being one of the first guys to truly turn it around. He’s really been everything we could have hoped for – overpowering, deceptive… and perpetually hurt. Paxton’s been chillin’ on the DL for a while now, and the currently crowded rotation situation certainly doesn’t bode well for his return. He’ll get a spot when he’s ready, but he might not be “ready” for a while. Grade: B-