If the Mariners (83-72) reach the postseason, they will not have Roenis Elias available to pitch. The club Monday shut down the rookie for the remainder of the season after an MRI confirmed an initial diagnosis that Elias is suffering from a strained flexor bundle in his left elbow.
The Mariners also removed starter Chris Young from his scheduled start Thursday in Toronto but did not name a replacement.
Elias, who made 29 starts working out of the middle of Seattle’s rotation, will not begin throwing again for four to six weeks.
Elias went 10-12 with a 3.85 ERA in his 29 starts. He threw 163.2 innings with a 1.34 WHIP. Elias delivered his best performance June 1 against Detroit, when he threw a 4-0 shutout against the Detroit Tigers, allowing three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. He had a season-high 10 strikeouts May 1 at Yankee Stadium.
Young, 35, apparently is fatigued. He is 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA in his last five starts. His 165 innings are the most since his last healthy year in 2007.
“Chris has done a tremendous job for us this year,” manager Lloyd McClendon told reporters before Monday’s game in Toronto. “To think he’s won as many games as he’s won and gone out there as many times as he’s gone out there, coming off the type of surgery that he had, I think it’s just tremendous. I’m not sure we’d be in the position we’re in now if not for him.”
Young continues saying he feels fine physically, but the 6-foot-10 veteran has thrown 165 innings, which is by far the most he’s thrown in a year since his last fully healthy season in 2007, when he was a National League All-Star with the Padres.
“I think he’s probably out of gas from the starting standpoint,” McClendon said. “Having said that, eight to 10 days from now, who knows?”
The Mariners began a four-game series at Toronto Monday with LHP James Paxton (6-3, 2.06) contesting LHP J.A. Happ 9-11, 4.35).
The Mariners began play Monday trailing Oakland by two games and Kansas City by 1½ in the American League wild card race.