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2014 Texas Rangers Mid-Season Grades -- Pitchers

Grading the pitchers who have appeared for the 2014 Texas Rangers through the All Star Break

Rob Carr

2014 Texas Rangers Mid-Season Grades -- Pitchers:  So, yesterday, we did mid-season grades for the Rangers position players.  It was ugly.

Today, we are doing grades for the pitchers.  Its not going to get much better.

Yu Darvish -- GRADE:  A. He's been one of the best pitchers in the American League.  There's not much more to say here.

Colby Lewis -- GRADE:  Sad. Man.  Colby has a 4.17 FIP, which is good.  And he has a 6.54 ERA, which is bad.  And the spread isn't bad luck -- Lewis has been getting hit hard.  He seemed to be getting back into a groove before his disastrous last start.  His coming back at all is a nice story...I'm just hopeful the second half turns it into more of a success tory.

Nick Martinez -- GRADE:  B.  Martinez has a 5.10 ERA in 67 innings, together with a 5.99 FIP.  I'll put him in the same category as I did Rougned Odor yesterday, a guy who should be in AA, who has been pressed into duty due to injuries, and who has acquitted himself well by not drowning.

Nick Tepesch -- GRADE:  B-.  This is a hard grade to figure out.  Tepesch has a 4.31 ERA/4.97 FIP in 56.1 innings, so he has performed worse better than Martinez.  But Tepesch spent last season in the majors, and is further along the growth curve than Martinez, which is why I gave him a lower grade.  One of the things that would make the offseason a lot easier for the Rangers would be if Tepesch had a solid second half of the year, letting the front office feel he can handle a rotation spot for 2015.

Martin Perez -- GRADE:  Very sad. I don't want to talk about Marteen's 2014 season.  It bums me out.

Joe Saunders -- GRADE:  F. So so terrible.  Rangers didn't even get a dead cat bounce off of his miserable 2013 campaign.

Joakim Soria -- GRADE:  A. 2.67 ERA, 0.90 FIP.  His FIP is a better indicator of how he's performed than his ERA.  A terrific reliever.  And he's completed wasted on this team right now.  I'll be sad if the Rangers trade him.

Shawn Tolleson -- GRADE:  B+.  Tolleson was claimed on waivers, and has been given the role of "middle reliever/long man/mop up man."  He's getting his arm slagged this year.  If the Rangers were having a good year, he'd be one of the team's success stories.  Instead, he's a footnote.

Neal Cotts -- GRADE:  B-.  Another tough grade.  He's been an okay reliever, and based on his career before 2013, that would be a huge win.  But after his incredible 2013 season, more was expected.  He'll probably be shipped out in the next week or so, for a return we will all find underwhelming.

Jason Frasor -- GRADE:  B-.  We'll miss you, Jason.

Alexi Ogando -- GRADE:  F.  Its an open question as to whether Alexi Ogando was ever right this season, but he appeared in 14 of the Rangers' first 25 games, over a 28 day span, finishing up with three appearances in three days from April 25-27.  He allowed 3 runs on April 27, and never seemed to be quite right after that...although, again, it wasn't like he was looking like Craig Kimbrel even before that stretch.  In any case, he's on the d.l. with elbow inflammation, with the best case scenario being a September return.

Robbie Ross -- GRADE:  D.  He started off in the rotation, did a good job for a few games, had the wheels come off, went to the bullpen, was even worse, and is now in the minors.  Ross's problem this year, like it has been in the second half of the previous two seasons, is an inability to command his pitches, with the result being that he leaves balls out over the zone and they get crushed.  He's struggling in AAA right now.  Just another fun anecdote in a thrilling 2014 season.

Scott Baker -- GRADE:  B.  Baker hasn't been good -- he has a 6.24 ERA -- but his job isn't to be good.  His job to to absorb innings, either as a starter or out of the bullpen, when the Rangers need someone to eat a good chunk of innings.  He's gone out there, taken his beating, and saved the rest of the pen on multiple occasions.  In a year like that, that earns him one of the highest grades on the pitching staff.

Tanner Scheppers -- GRADE:  F.  Combine what I said about Alexi Ogando with what I said about Robbie Ross, and you get the Tanner Scheppers writeup.  Except he wasn't good in the rotation from the jump, and he apparently was having elbow issues in spring training.  The Rangers at this point have to hope he has no permanent damage, and will be able to be an effective reliever for them in 2015.

Aaron Poreda -- GRADE:  C.  Signed as a minor league free agent, Poreda has been all over the map.  He looked great, then looked terrible, then looked great again, then was terrible again.  He's been bounced back and forth between the majors and the minors, and if Cotts gets traded, Poreda will probably return to the majors.

Matt Harrison -- GRADE:  Extremely sad.  He underwent back surgery that might result in his career ending.  Ben and I were sitting right behind the dugout in Houston in what was his last game of the season, and I thought then, watching him walk off the field, that I was witnessing the low point of the season.  Little did I know that this season was like Metroid in its ability to provide new and previously unfathomed depths to explore.

Miles Mikolas -- GRADE:  D. Mikolas, who is out of options after the season, is trying out for the Dustin Nippert role on the 2015 Rangers.

Pedro Figueroa -- GRADE:  B. Claimed on waivers from the A's, Figueroa looked like he could be a viable lefty relief option earlier in the year.  And then he had Tommy John surgery, and that was that.

Ben Rowen -- GRADE:  B. Hey, remember when Ben Rowen was up in the majors?  That was fun, wasn't it?

Neftali Feliz -- GRADE:  C.  The "C" is mainly due to the fact that he had to start the season in the minors, and doesn't appear to be all the way back from his 2012 Tommy John surgery.  On the plus side, it means that the Rangers have him under team control now through 2016, rather than 2015.  On the minus side, he may not be worth having under team control that long.  Still, Tommy John surgery sometimes takes longer to recover from and I'm not giving up on Feliz just yet.

Roman Mendez -- GRADE:  A. He hasn't allowed a run in 5.2 IP, so he is third on my team Cy Young ballot, behind Yu and Soria.

Hector Noesi -- GRADE:  F.  The Rangers claimed Noesi on waivers from the M's.  He posted an 11.81 ERA in 5.1 IP, then was DFA'd, and was claimed by the ChiSox.  He's been mediocre for them, which makes him even more annoying.

Justin Germano -- GRADE:  D. He was pulled up to be cannon fodder at some point this season, and posted an 11.81 ERA in 5.1 IP.  Hey, that's just like Hector Noesi!  Maybe they are the same person.  In any case, he gets a better grade than Noesi because Germano was supposed to be the Poor Man's Scott Baker, whereas Noesi was supposed to be the Poor Man's Jason Frasor.  Expectations, you know.

Geez...this really drives home how many pitchers there have been this season.

Seth Rosin -- GRADE:  D. This year's Mason Tobin.  Rosin was a Rule 5 pick from the Phillies, was claimed on waivers out of spring training, showed a little something in a brief stint, and then was DFA'd.  He'll be one of the most frequently missed answers in the Sporcle Quiz on the 2014 Rangers.

Phil Irwin -- GRADE:  Huh? That was a memorable start Irwin had, wasn't it?  He and Rosin have the same IP and ERA, much like Germano and Noesi.

Matt West -- GRADE:  A. Like Roman Mendez, he hasn't allowed a run this year, so he gets a gold star.

Daniel McCutchen -- GRADE:  Q. McCutchen had 2.1 IP in one game, allowed 3 runs, and isn't in the organization anymore.

Ryan Feierabend -- GRADE:  %. I'm just tired of giving grades, man.  All these freaking pitchers.

Mitch Moreland/Chris Gimenez -- GRADE:  A+.  Two position players, each of whom threw a scoreless inning this year.  Good job, guys.

That's 30 pitchers so far this year.  I wouldn't be shocked if we ended up at 40 before the season is up.

Man.  This season.