Rockies find themselves in a curious position with Jon Gray – Purple Row
Jon Gray is a Riddle Wrapped in a Rockies Uniform | The Ringer
Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer offers very detailed analysis on the season of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray. By peripheral stats, Gray has not only been an effective starter for the team, but he’s been among the best pitchers in baseball. In fact, his strikeout and walk numbers are closely akin to those of Max Scherzer. Of course, his 5.77 ERA at the MLB level does not reflect this, and the would-be ace was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque to regain some focus. The gap between Gray’s ERA and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) would mark the largest single-season disparity in Major League history. Much of Gray’s misfortune can be seemingly attributed to a career-high batting average on balls in play, which can come with the territory of pitching half of one’s games at Coors Field, home to a vast outfield.
Much of the strikeout, walk, and pitch selection numbers are close to the same as Gray’s first seasons in the Majors, when he had a good deal of success. But while Gray has a higher BABIP with the bases empty than with runners on, his strikeout and walk numbers trend in the wrong direction with men on base. And lately, Gray’s velocity has also taken a noticeable drop.
“He runs into trouble all the time,” Ryan Spilborghs told Lindbergh about Gray’s strange season. Discussing Gray’s demotion, Manager Bud Black focused on the issues with runners on specifically, while Spilborghs cites an issue with throwing pitches “middle-middle” and questioned the right-hander’s focus. Spilborghs makes a bold call for Gray to be moved to the bullpen to improve his focus, but also considers the fact that Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay were once sent to the minors as well, but