The inevitable, yet still very sad:
#Mariners say LHP Roenis Elias flying back Thursday to Seattle to undergo MRI on elbow. Injury (for now) termed "flexor bundle tightness."— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) September 17, 2014
No one with the Mariners is officially saying Elias' year is over but with the location of the injury and the waning season there's a good chance we've seen the last of the Cuban southpaw in 2014.
Roenis Elias came from beyond the periphery of most outside the organization this year. I imagine there were some within the organization not paying him too much mind, at least not as it concerned 2014. Elias broke through the competition in Arizona, largely on the strength of this:
Having never spent a day above AA Elias made 29 starts for the Mariners, who started the season with 60% of their projected rotation out with injury. He threw 163.2 innings, a career high. He accrued 1.5 fWAR and given the lack of depth behind him, particularly at the beginning of the season it's easy to see his value to this roster as greater than that number.
On June 1st against a tough, right-handed heavy Detroit Tigers lineup Elias threw his first shutout, striking out 8 (including Austin Jackson twice) and walking one. He was tough as nails and fearless, with a stoic demeanor he carried around him in good starts and bad.
Now he's on a plane headed to Seattle. I can't imagine the doubts and fears that dominate ones mind when your livelihood is threatened. Knowing there's an obstacle keeping you from continuing your dream but having it shrouded in mystery has got to be terrifying. The one thing I am absolutely sure of is Roenis Elias has faced a hell of a lot worse in his life.
The injury leaves an open spot in the rotation on Sunday at Houston. There is no official word but there is every reason to think Taijuan Walker will step on the mound in Houston and try to write a very appealing end to an up and down season. If Walker's recent success in long relief translates to starting the Mariners would potentially roll with a Felix/Kuma/Paxton/Walker/Young rotation through the end. That, that ain't bad.