Nationals’ Josiah Gray lands on injured list with right forearm strain

Nationals’ Josiah Gray lands on injured list with right forearm strain

Tooba Shakir 54 years ago 0 0

SAN FRANCISCO — Washington Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray landed on the 15-day injured list Tuesday with a strained right flexor muscle near his forearm. The move is retroactive to Saturday.

The Nationals recalled right-hander Joan Adon from Class AAA Rochester. Adon started in Gray’s place against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

“It sucks,” Gray said. “Ever since I joined the Nationals, I made every single start that I was scheduled to make. And I prided myself on doing that. So obviously it’s a little bit of a gut punch to come to the ballpark and not be slated in the five-man rotation for the foreseeable future.”

Gray felt more than his typical post-start soreness after his most recent start Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw a bullpen and still didn’t feel like himself, so he got an MRI exam. The results revealed that his UCL was intact, but there was inflammation. Gray said the next steps are rest and rehab, adding that there is no timetable for when he will start throwing again.

“He’s just going to take some time off and build back some strength and then we’ll try to get him back as soon as possible,” Manager Dave Martinez said.

Gray, 26, entered the campaign hoping to build on a season in which he earned his first all-star appearance but struggled in the second half. He had a tough start against the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, when he allowed seven runs in four innings. Then he allowed six runs in 4⅓ innings against the Pirates, giving Gray a 0-2 record with a 14.04 ERA. Gray didn’t blame his injury for his poor performances, reiterating that the discomfort came after his second start.

This will be the first trip to the injured list in the major leagues for Gray, who was Washington’s Opening Day starter. His only other stint on the IL came in 2021, when he was a minor leaguer in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system.

Back then, he injured his shoulder and missed seven weeks. He vowed at the time to establish a proper routine and follow it to remain healthy. Still, the injury bug found him.

“It’s a harsh reality of what we do as pitchers, especially in today’s game,” Gray said. “Injury risk is going up. It definitely gives you a sense of reality in what we do. Unfortunately, I have to miss some time, but I don’t think it’s going to change anything I really do.”

Gray joins a growing list of pitchers dealing with arm injuries. In the National League East alone, Atlanta Braves righty Spencer Strider is on the IL and Miami Marlins right-hander Eury Pérez was set to undergo Tommy John surgery this week. New York Mets righty Kodai Senga is sidelined with a right capsule strain.

There’s also Cleveland Guardians righty Shane Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner, who needs surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. New York Yankees righty Gerrit Cole, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is rehabbing in hopes of a return from nerve inflammation in his right elbow. Houston Astros starter Framber Valdez experienced soreness in his left elbow this week.

A long-term injury for Gray would be a major blow to the Nationals, whose young arms are a key part of their rebuild. Washington is already without Cade Cavalli, who made his major league debut in August 2022. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2023 and has yet to face live hitters.

Adon, 25, made his 26th career start Tuesday, making him the most experienced option for the Nationals to call up. The club has starting pitching depth in its system but most of its prospects are not considered ready for the majors, Martinez said. The manager wants to give righty Jackson Rutledge more time to get into a rhythm at Class AAA. Lefty Mitchell Parker made just three starts at Rochester before this year and fellow lefty DJ Herz hasn’t pitched above Class AA.

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