On the day that Joey Votto returned to the lineup after missing just over a month after breaking his thumb when he was hit by a pitch by Dallas Keuchel the Reds potentially lost another big key to their team. While warming up for the 4th inning starting pitcher Sonny Gray seemed to feel something in his leg and after the training staff came out and had a short conversation, Gray exited the game.
Sonny Gray was pitching well up to that point. The right-handed pitcher had struck out five batters in 3.0 shutout innings and had allowed just two hits. Cincinnati was leading 1-0 at the time. That lowered his ERA on the season to 3.42 for Gray.
Sean Doolittle came out of the bullpen to take over and on his second pitch of the game the game was tied up on an Avisaíl García home run that sailed into the left field stands.
If Gray has to miss a start, the most obvious candidate would be Tony Santillan, who is on the 40-man roster. We wrote about him as a potential option out of the bullpen earlier today despite the fact that he was pitching well in the rotation for Triple-A Louisville. While with the Bats this season he’s made six starts with a 2.51 ERA where he’s allowed 23 hits, walked 12, and struck out 45 batters in 32.1 innings. He last pitched on Friday, and this week he was the probable starter for Friday. If the Reds need to/want to make the move to call him up and insert him into the rotation they will have options to have Santillan get plenty of extra rest between his start and just have him step in for Gray in five days. They could also just push everyone back a day to give them extra rest between starts and have Santillan step in later this week on more “normal” rest.
Sonny Gray’s Post game Comments
After the game it was noted that Sonny Gray suffered a groin injury during the game. He will have an MRI tomorrow to help determine the extent of the injury.
“I don’t,” said Gray when asked if he knew if the injury was serious. “I’ve never felt this before. From talking to some guys who have had it, or it’s been a thing before, it’s probably just one of those things when you lift your leg and throw. I don’t think it’s bad-bad-bad. I do think if I continued to throw it could have gotten to a point where it was very uncomfortable. I’ve never walked off the field like that and it took a lot to do that. I don’t think it’s horrible.”
“The third one (warm up pitch), I told Tyler ‘let me throw one more’, I threw one pretty aggressively and my backside kind of drug through and it was there and I was like ‘dang’. I knew what was about to happen. I felt good, I felt control, I felt in a good spot. I wanted to continue to go, but in my head I was just trying to think in my head ‘this is one of those moments where everyone says don’t make it worse, don’t make it worse’, so that was that.”
This portion of the post game interview may have the most useful information in it, though.
“Tomas (Vera – trainer) came out and we kind of had a really good conversation and I explained to him what I felt, and he knew right away. He’s been around, he knows what this is. And I’ve heard people say what this is. Then I just started thinking two weeks down the road what it looks like. Is two weeks down the road better than eight weeks? Is this one inning – because after that inning there’s no way I go back out for the 5th after how it was feeling anyways – so it this one inning, this one batter better than the 4-5 starts it might cost me in the long run? All of these were just kind of going through.”
The Reds and Sonny Gray will have a better idea of things after the MRI tomorrow. And we’ll probably hear an update then, too. Until then….. Reds fans will probably be sitting around rather uncomfortably wondering what’s going to happen.