Cincinnati Reds starter Sonny Gray pitched yesterday, and pitched darned well in the proces. He yielded just 2 ER in 7 IP against the Kansas City Royals, looking exactly like the top of the rotation arm he’s been since coming to the Reds from the New York Yankees a few years back.
Today, though, he hit the 10-day injured list for the second time this season, this time with a reported rib cage strain. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed the news, noting that starter-turned-reliever Tony Santillan was recalled in his stead:
Bad news for the #reds - Sonny Gray went back on the 10-day IL with a rib cage strain. Tony Santillan recalled.— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) July 8, 2021
Here’s the thing, though. The Reds have four more games until the All Star break, and since Sonny started yesterday, he wasn’t going to start any of those. A full 10 days on the IL will encompass the All Star break, meaning he could be back as early as the middle of the first series back from the break, one in GABP against the same Milwaukee Brewers club they’ll face these next four days.
So, if the injury is indeed minor, there’s a legitimate chance the Reds won’t even really need to skip his turn in the rotation. I’m not accusing the Reds of creating an injury out of nowhere, of course, or that they’re trying to game any sort of system, just simply noting that if things hopefully end up as minor as possible, they don’t stand to get burned by playing it overly cautious at this point and time.
Heck, as Sheldon noted yesterday, Gray mentioned that he felt bad and off from the moment he woke up prior to yesterday’s start, so obviously something is amiss.
For now, the Reds will get Santillan as a bolster to their pitching staff for this vital series in Milwaukee, in whichever new role he assumes.