Mariners' Elias 'most likely' done for the season

2:17 PM

The Seattle Mariners are stumbling down the stretch, and it appears rookie sensation Roenis Elias won't be around to help them snap out of their recent funk.

Elias, one of the Mariners' most reliable starters since the All-Star break, is "most likely" done for the season after experiencing tightness in his elbow's flexor bundle.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said the left-hander will fly back to Seattle on Thursday to undergo an MRI exam.

"He's had a heckuva year," McClendon said, via "He's had a tremendous second half. He's done a wonderful job and it hasn't gone unnoticed. He's everything we thought he was going to be."

The 26-year-old Cuban was a key component behind the Mariners' second half surge, allowing two earned runs or less in nine straight starts before exiting Tuesday's outing with elbow stiffness.

Top prospect Taijuan Walker will take Elias' place in the rotation. The 22-year-old right-hander carries a 2.96 ERA and 1.40 WHIP across 24 1/3 innings into his scheduled start Friday at Houston.

Seattle has dropped six of its last eight as it chases its first playoff berth since 2001. The Mariners enter play Thursday two games back of Oakland for the American League's second wild-card spot.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports