What is Going on With Sonny Gray?
The Minnesota Twins have a starting pitcher problem. We all know that. But Falvine has made one move to improve their staff since the lockout ended. They traded their 2021 1st round pick, Chase Petty, to the Cincinnati Reds for 32-year-old, veteran right hander, Sonny Gray.
But there’s one problem. Opening Day is 13 days away and Gray has yet to throw a live pitch during 2022 Spring Training. When is Gray finally going to take the mound in his first Grapefruit League action of Twins camp? Maybe never. According to Rocco Baldelli, Sonny is scheduled to throw in his first live game action on Monday but it will be a minor league contest.
Sonny Gray’s first game action of the spring is expected to come Monday, when he’ll pitch in a Minor League game on an off-day for the #MNTwins, Rocco said.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) March 25, 2022
Gray Should be Twins’ Ace Until Proven Otherwise
When you line up the current spread of Twins starters, Gray is the clear ace of the staff. He’s thrown over 1,200 innings in his career, boasting a 3.61 ERA, .231 BA against and .661 OPS during those 9 seasons. Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober would sign up for that same career path in a heartbeat. Dylan Bundy just wants to pitch a healthy season.
Should Derek Falvey and Thad Levine trade for another starter, who’s better than Sonny Gray, before Opening Day arrives? Yes, but for now, Gray would be the obvious choice to take the Target Field mound on April 7 vs the Seattle Mariners.
What in the world is happening?
But how is that going to happen? He may not face a big league hitter until the last week of Spring Training, if at all. Yes, it’s possible that Sonny Gray’s scheduled day to pitch just happened to fall on a big league off day.
Even so, wouldn’t it be more important that Gray faces big league competition and gets on the field with his new teammates, especially his new catchers, than he stay perfectly rigid in his weekly pitching routine? (Correction: Ryan Jeffers will catch for Gray in his minor league appearance Monday)
At worst, I’m concerned there’s a nagging injury we don’t know about. But even in a best case scenario, where Sonny Gray is healthy and sharp as ever, there’s no chance he’s going to be ready to take the mound on Opening Day. Right?
Is a Minnesota Twins team, that has a healthy Byron Buxton and just signed Carlos Correa to a massive one-year contract, really about to send rookie starting pitcher, Joe Ryan, out to the mound on game 1 of 162 this season? In front of their own home crowd, no doubt? That’d be bold, even for the Pohlads.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan