Sonny Gray surrendered 11 ER over just 4 IP in his most recent two starts with the Cincinnati Reds, ones that came a full 9 days apart from one another in order to give him a bit of rest. That didn’t work, obviously, and Gray landed on the 10-day IL with a back issue shortly after his September 10th outing.
The Reds welcomed him back to the rotation officially today, however, activating him in time to start tonight’s crucial game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The club announced said move on Twitter.
#Reds activate P Sonny Gray from the 10-day IL. Designate P Nate Jones for assignment. pic.twitter.com/DAv9SvVj91— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 22, 2020
Prior to those two starts, Gray had again been in the mix for Cy Young Award votes, pitching to a tidy 1.94 ERA across 7 starts (41.2 IP). If he’s back to 100% - which is the assumption, of course - he’ll slot in aside Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo to form perhaps the most formidable trio of starters in the National League, if not all of baseball, for the stretch run.
Making way on the roster was reliever Nate Jones, whose comeback story this year at times showed great promise. The local righty found some of his velocity again, ramping his fastball up to 95.9 mph this year after a large dip a year ago, but struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark in big moments. He surrendered 5 dingers in just 18.2 IP, including one in last night’s game that was emblematic of where he stood on the pecking order of Reds relievers at the moment - in the 9th inning in a game where the Reds already had the game in hand.
Let’s just hope it augments further the Reds efforts to climb into the playoffs, something their recent 9-2 stretch has helped begin.