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Rangers' Mid-Season Grades -- Pitchers

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The first half has ended, and thus by ancient blogging tradition, it is time to hand out mid-season grades. Yesterday I did position players, today I'm doing pitchers.

Some general rules: As, Bs, and Cs can be regular, + or -. Ds and Fs are plain ol' Ds and Fs. Grades are on a curve, based on what expectations are. The Rangers are a half-game back of the Yankees for the best record in baseball, and have a 4 game lead in the A.L. West, but they were expected to be really, really good this year, so the grades will reflect the higher expectations.

Also, this is for fun, and I'm not spending a ton of time analyzing this, so don't get all torqued out if I give someone a B and you think they should have a B+.

Matt Harrison -- 3.10 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 3.95 xFIP, 2.6 fWAR. Grade: A-

Last season, Harrison had a 3.39 ERA, a 3.52 FIP, and a 3.85 xFIP. This year, he has a 3.10 ERA, 3.49 FIP, and a 3.95 xFIP, and yet we are all surprised and confused at how good he's been. There's something about Matt Harrison when you watch him that makes him seem like he's not as good as he really is (or at least, as good as he's really been for the last year and a half).

Yu Darvish -- 3.59 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, 2.2 fWAR. Grade: B

Darvish has been fascinating to watch this season, at times looking like the best pitcher in the game, at times looking like 1986 Bobby Witt. Still, all in all, he's struck out a lot of batters, walked a lot of batters, and gotten a lot of ground balls. You'd like to see the walk rate come down and to see Darvish get more efficient, avoid the sudden control lapses that plague him from time to time, but regardless, he's been really good this year. The only reason I don't make his grade higher is that the rangers are spending the equivalent of almost $20 million per year on him...he's supposed to be really, really good, and thus his curve is more stringent.

Colby Lewis -- 3.51 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 3.76 xFIP, 2.0 fWAR. Grade: A-

Colby Lewis has had a fascinating season, one reminiscent of Curt Schilling in his later years. He's striking out a lot of batters, walking almost no one, and has been homer prone. I was surprised to see how similar his numbers above were to Darvish, although they are getting their results in dramatically different fashions...while Darvish is walking a batter every two innings, Colby has walked 12 batters in 100 innings, but has allowed 15 home runs in the process. While the assumption has been that Lewis will leave as a free agent after the season, I'm starting to think the Rangers will make a stronger push than we expect to keep him around.

Joe Nathan -- 1.73 ERA, 1.72 FIP, 2.28 xFIP, 1.5 fWAR. Grade: A

Who saw this coming? Other than perhaps the Rangers, I mean.

Alexi Ogando -- 2.08 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 3.29 xFIP, 1.1 fWAR. Grade: A-

Alexi Ogando, doing Alexi Ogando things, striking out batters, acting as a fireman in relief, stepping into the rotation when asked. Ogando is expected to return shortly from the disabled list, and will resume his role as one of the most important pieces of a really good bullpen.

Robbie Ross -- 0.95 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 0.8 fWAR. Grade: A+

Who saw this coming, Part 2? Ross, with just a handful of innings above A ball, impressed this spring while getting what we thought was just the token, courtesy opportunity to "win a job on the major league staff" (heh heh, right), saw his competitors flame out, and ended up on the Opening Day roster. He's exceeded all expectations, having not given up an earned run in about two months, handled himself like a seasoned veteran, thrown strikes, gotten ground balls, and earned Ron Washington's trust. And he's not a LOOGY, either...he's asked to go multiple innings, and while the Rangers seek to match him up with lefties when possible, he's facing both lefthanders and righthanders. Ross has been a revelation this year, and has likely positioned himself to have the inside track for the open rotation job next year.

Derek Holland -- 5.05 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 4.24 xFIP, 0.8 fWAR. Grade: D

Holland got a nice contract extension that keeps him under team control through 2018, and a lot of people felt that, after his strong second half of the season in 2011 and his sterling performance in Game 4 of the World Series, Holland was ready to break out. Instead, he's missed time because of an illness, and hasn't pitched very well when he's been on the mound. Holland's defenders say he's young and has time to develop, but Holland turns 26 in just a few months, and he's approaching 500 major league innings. It may be time to accept that he is what he is.

Mike Adams -- 3.07 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 3.62 xFIP, 0.7 fWAR. Grade: B-

The Rangers shipped two well regarded pitching prospects, Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland, to the San Diego Padres to get Adams last year at the trade deadline in an effort to solidify the bullpen. Adams was dominant with the Padres, but this season, has been good rather than dominant, with his K rate going down and his walk rate increasing. Adams is a free agent after the season, and I expected him to be the Rangers' best reliever this season, but so far, he's been just a guy. Don't get me wrong, he's been good...just not great. And I, maybe erroneously, was expecting great.

Scott Feldman -- 5.89 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 4.35 xFIP, 0.6 fWAR. Grade: D

Let's not talk about Scott Feldman.

Neftali Feliz -- 3.16 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 4.93 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR. Grade: B-

Great ERA built upon a .213 BABIP, mediocre peripherals, sprained UCL. The Feliz to the rotation experiment has been derailed, and while he's working as a starter in the minors, he's probably not starting again this season, and his future in the rotation is up in the air.

Roy Oswalt -- 6.26 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 3.91 xFIP, 0.4 fWAR. Grade: D

Like Feldman, Oswalt has decent peripherals that bely an ugly ERA. He's allowing a .451 BABIP, and that's not the result of bad luck or bad defense, its the result of bad pitching. The Rangers spent a lot of money on Oswalt in the hope that he'd shore up the rotation, likely taking themselves out of the mix for Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke in order to do so, and thus they need Oswalt to turns things around pretty quickly.

Koji Uehara -- 2.11 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 3.13 xFIP, 0.3 fWAR. Grade: A-

The reliever that everyone loved to hate last year and during the offseason, the guy fans were wanting the Rangers to give away or just release during spring training, was quietly one of the Rangers' better relievers before going on the disabled list, although he still hasn't earned Ron Washington's trust.

Mark Lowe -- 2.30 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 4.00 xFIP, 0.3 fWAR. Grade: A-

Another guy that Rangers fans were ready to get rid of this offseason, Lowe has quietly had a very solid season in low-leverage situations. I wouldn't be surprised if Lowe or Uehara ended up getting traded at the deadline to a team looking for relief help.

Justin Grimm, Martin Perez, Michael Kirkman, Yoshinori Tateyama, Tanner Scheppers -- Grade: Inc

All these guys have been pressed into duty because of injuries, and none of them have much more than 10 innings. Hopefully, we won't have to see much from them the rest of the way.