HomeMLB RumorsNationals Place Josiah Gray On Injured List With Flexor Strain

Nationals Place Josiah Gray On Injured List With Flexor Strain

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The Nationals announced that right-hander Josiah Gray has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to a right elbow/forearm flexor strain. The move is retroactive to April 6 and righty Joan Adon has been recalled in a corresponding move.

The Nats have not yet provided any kind of information relating to the severity of Gray’s injury or how long they expect him to be out of action, but it’s the latest in a string of elbow injuries to notable pitchers around the league. The season is less than two weeks old but has already seen pitchers like Shane Bieber and Eury Pérez be sent to the operating table for Tommy John surgery. Spencer Strider could follow them since he has sustained damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, though it’s not yet been determined whether he will have surgery or not. Framber Valdez was scratched from yesterday’s start and sent to meet with doctors after experiencing elbow soreness. Nick Pivetta was placed on the IL earlier today due to a flexor strain, though Boston’s chief baseball officer Craig Breslow characterized it as mild.

All of those injuries are on top of pitchers who were injured last year and are still recovering, a list that includes guys like Shohei Ohtani, Jacob deGrom, Sandy Alcántara, Robbie Ray, Shane McClanahan and many more. The ever-growing list has led to a dispute between MLB and the MLBPA, with the league blaming pitchers chasing high velocity and spin while the players point to the pitch clock.

Gray will now add another notable injury to that pile. He may not have as much big league success as some of those aforementioned pitchers, but he is nonetheless a notable name due to his former status as a top prospect and trade chip. Now 26, Gray was a top 100 prospect during his time with the Dodgers before coming to the Nationals as a key piece of the 2021 deadline deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles.

Gray has not yet truly lived up to that hype, with a 4.84 earned run average in 386 2/3 innings in his major league career. He had a 3.91 ERA last year but may have been lucky to have allowed so few runs to score. His 20.5% strikeout rate and 11.5% walk rate were each below league average, but his 80.4% strand rate was on the high side. His 4.93 FIP and 5.08 SIERA were each more than a run higher than his ERA, perhaps suggesting regression was coming. His first two outings in 2024 resulted in 13 earned runs scoring in 8 1/3 innings, though the injury may have also played a role in that.

Nonetheless, Gray has been an important building block for the Nats amid their ongoing rebuild. If he ends up needing to miss significant time, that could be a blow to Gray and the club in what was likely seen as a key development year. He came into 2024 with two years and 75 days of service time, meaning that he will qualify for arbitration for the first time going into 2025 and is slated for free agency after 2027. The Nats have a number of their best prospects nearing the majors and would ideally like to see Gray take a step forward to be a part of their next competitive window but an extended absence would obviously get in the way of that plan.

For now, he’ll be removed from the rotation for at least a couple of turns. For now, Adon will take Gray’s spot next to MacKenzie Gore, Patrick Corbin, Trevor Williams and Jake Irvin. Adon has 121 2/3 innings of major league experience with a 6.66 ERA.


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