DOUG FISTER: Back into the rotation after his disabled list vacation, Fister continued being Doug Fister. Not many swings and misses paired with a good amount of strikes and a decent number of ground balls. The high BABIP and low strand rate explains the 22 runs allowed, but once again Fister churned out a month that indicates that he might just be a good back end solution for the rotation. GRADE: C+
FELIX HERNANDEZ: Felix could not repeat his outstanding June but that is no knock on him as his June was a bare-assed stomp through the forests of the American League, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Everything regressed in July, but he still kept his ground ball rate north of 50%, and a 3.7 strikeout to walk ratio makes it still an elite performance. GRADE: A
CLIFF LEE: Made one start and was awesome. Cliff Lee was always awesome and now he's gone. And in a way that almost might be for the best. Not that I expect him to ever, ever regress, but just in case some fluke lightning strike were to sap his magical powers, the Cliff Lee at his peak remains in our memories as our only interaction with him. It's like if Griffey had never come back to Seattle. GRADE: A++++++ would buy again
DAVID PAULEY: I had no clue that Pauley made this many starts. Oh dear that seems bad. Except not as Pauley was not an embarrassment. He's pitching over his head so I don't want to spend time making too much of three decent starts. This was the sort of fill in that would have been greatly appreciated on a contending team. Instead, some people are going to try and spin this into a future contributor. Those people are cute and delightful in their optimism. They deserve to be studied so that we may one day harness their positivity for our own uses, leaving them a bitter hulk of a person. GRADE: C-
RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH: A second full month back in the rotation (no longer!) ended with absolutely no improvement over June. There was marginally more ground balls (37% to 43%), but fewer swings and misses and just as many pitches outside the strike zone. Both walks and strikeouts fell. The walk rate stayed the highest in the rotation and the strikeout rate is completely unacceptable. He wasn't as bad as he looked thanks to that strand rate, but he was still awful. GRADE: D-
JASON VARGAS: Vargas again displayed improvement on his control though his walks ticked up slightly. However, his whiff rate fell back to average, even though his strikeout rate rose over his June numbers. It's all backward with this guy. What a card! A 3.0 strikeout to walk ratio is still good even if it was 3.5 in June. In significantly better news, the ground ball rates really improved going from 29% to 40%. Of course that means that Vargas allowed more home runs too. You so crazy, Jason! A pitcher with his strikeout, walk and ground ball profile will do well more times than not so he gets a grade bump over what his tRA would indicate. GRADE: B
What a motley collection of awful. David Aardsma was the only really worthwhile component and there is not much to say about them. Jamey Wright couldn't miss a bat in Little League, neither could Luke French. Brandon League still cannot throw strikes and isn't missing enough bats to overcome that particular folly. Sean White is still Sean White and everyone else was worse than Sean White.