Sonny Gray was supposed to make his rehab appearance in Louisville on Thursday night, but he woke up on Wednesday with a bit of a stiff back and the Cincinnati Reds decided to push his start back with the Bats to Saturday.
Things didn’t exactly get out to a great start for the rehabbing right-hander. Gray got the first batter of the game to fly out, but then walked, hit, and walked the next three batters. With the bases loaded he got into the zone and struck out the final two batters of the inning to escape the self-inflicted jam.
The second innings didn’t get out to much of a good start, either, as Sonny Gray walked the first hitter on five pitches, but he was thrown out trying to steal. Gray saw former Reds prospect Joe Hudson single on a blooper into center field. Opposing pitcher Steven Wright laid down a sacrifice bunt for the second out of the inning before a ground out to second base ended the frame. Through the first two innings he had thrown 41 pitches with just 19 strikes.
Knowing that the third inning would be his final inning, Sonny Gray came out firing strikes. While he struggled with his control in the first two innings all of those issues were nowhere to be found in the third as he fanned the first two hitters he saw before getting a ground out to third base to end the inning.
The Final Line: 3IP, 1 hit, 1 hit batter, no runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, 53 pitches, 27 strikes, 3 ground outs, 1 fly out.
The original plan was for Sonny Gray to throw three innings on rehab for the Bats and if that went well that he would return to the Cincinnati Reds rotation for his next start. “Went well” tends to simply mean stayed healthy and felt fine afterwards. There were no signs during the game that he didn’t feel fine. Gray last pitched for the Reds on June 8th when he injured himself while warming up between the 3rd and 4th innings of a start where he had not yet allowed a run against the Milwaukee Brewers. If everything did indeed go well and Gray returns to Cincinnati for his next start that would come against the Cubs during 4th of July weekend.
Update at 11:15am on Sunday
“It was good,” said manager David Bell of Gray’s rehab outing on Saturday night. “He responded well. Haven’t heard this morning, but as of last night he was feeling good. Physically everything went well, he’s on track. We’ll see him today. It’s probably best to see him, speak with him today before any final plans are made. But it went well, as expected.”
Jesse Winker exits early on Saturday
Reds outfielder Jesse Winker left the game early on Saturday against the Braves after he banged up his hip while diving for a ball in the 4th inning. He went to the trainers room and got treatment, had an X-ray done and it came back and “was all good” according to Winker.
“I am fine. Just banged up my hip a little bit,” said Winker after the game. “It was tightening up on me and I just felt like the best thing to do was to come in and get treatment as soon as I could.”
Whether he will be ready to be in the lineup tomorrow is something we are going to have to wait and see on.
“I would like to see how it’s feeling in the morning, but if it’s feeling fine then yeah, I should be ready to go. I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be long term at all.”
Update: 11:17am on Sunday
“I haven’t talked to him yet this morning,” said Bell. “I decided it was best for him to not be at least in the starting lineup today, just to give him the night and this morning to recover. Hopefully he’ll be available to come into the game, pinch hit – something like that. I haven’t talked to him yet this morning, so I’ll give him a little time to get treatment and everything. Again, it’s nothing alarming, nothing too concerning.”
Tejay Antone likely out until after the All-Star break
Just prior to the game the Reds placed Tejay Antone on the injured list with a right forearm strain. After the game manager David Bell expanded on how long he could be without his ace reliever.
“The only reason I think it would be longer (this time) is now going on the IL for the second time in a month, it’s nothing any more serious, but just because it’s the second time in a month and the All-Star break coming up that could factor in where you get four extra days there,” Bell said. “So potentially it could be longer than the two weeks that it was last time. It could be slightly longer, but I don’t anticipate it being much longer than that. There’s no question it’s something he can come back from.”
Update: 11:40am on Sunday
Prior to the game on Sunday against Atlanta Tejay Antone told C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic and Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer that his goal was to return the first day after the All-Star break. He had an MRI on his elbow and that there was no UCL damage.