The Dodgers added Gray to their Taxi Squad ahead of their crucial series against the first-place Giants this week. Manager Dave Roberts told mlbbro.com he would be activated before Tuesday night’s game, but since he recently made a start for their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, the team will likely use an Opener and let Gray work most of his innings out of the bullpen.
"The plan is for him to be activated tomorrow." Dave Roberts with the latest on #Dodgers top pitching prospect Josiah Gray and updates on Corey Seager & Gavin Lux. pic.twitter.com/1PDkW5RX8F
Gray wasn’t on the radar for most scouts while he attended New Rochelle High School in New York. He committed to LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York as a two-way player; being the king of the infield at shortstop and controlling the game as a pitcher in 2014.
“The athleticism that made Gray a shortstop translates well to pitching,” said scouts. “He repeats his delivery well and shows the ability to harness his electric fastball and slider.”
Before his junior season, Gray decided to begin pitching full-time. In 13 starts that season he posted an 11-0 record and a 1.25 ERA.
The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft, but he was traded to the Dodgers that same year on his 21st birthday in a deal that sent MLBbro Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Cincy.
Scouts are extremely high on Gray’s fastball which can reach up to 97 MPH and “seems to explode at the plate with riding and rising life.” He also has worked to sharpen both his slider and an upper 70’s curveball while at the team’s alternate training site this season.
During the 2019 season, he dominated at each of his three stops in the Dodgers organization on the way to being named their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He had a 2.70 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 130 innings and an 11-2 record through 25 starts.
Gray had his 2020 campaign lost after the minor league season was canceled due to Covid.
This season Gray has appeared in four games for the Dodgers Triple-A team, the Oklahoma City Dodgers. He is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA, 22 Strikeouts, two walks all while holding opponents to a .145 batting average.
It’s been a great week for him, as he collected his first career hit last Thursday on an RBI hit to left.
Gray will have every opportunity to earn a prominent role on the Dodger pitching staff whether it be as a starter or out of the bullpen. One thing is for certain, he’ll be pitching under the spotlight and with the eyes of baseball on him as he has entered one of the most competitive division races we have seen.
When you talk about the most dominant pitchers in the last decade, it’s hard not to mention David Price.
Though he has dealt with injuries in the last few years, he still has had success on the mound. Our MLB bro has accomplished a lot throughout his 14-year career. Before the 2021 season, Price’s last appearance on the mound came in 2019 as he opted to not play during the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.
He was still awarded a championship ring by the Dodgers for his veteran leadership and his likeability in the locker room.
He made his first appearance coming out of the bullpen on April 2nd against the Colorado Rockies. Price threw 1.2 giving up two runs on five hits.
The 35-year-old made his first start on May 20th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a solid outing that game going two innings and not allowing a run.
Don’t let the age fool you, Price can still pitch. Throughout his career, Price has been a pitcher opposing teams have had difficulties with.
Let’s throw out some of his accolades:
World Series Champion
AL Cy Young Award
AL Comeback Player of the Year
AL wins leader
Two-time AL ERA leader
MLB strikeout leader
Golden Spikes Award
Dick Howser Trophy
That is an impressive resume right there and shows why Price has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
This season, Price has steadily worked his way back into the rotation for the LA Dodgers. Through 11 games, he is 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA and 19 strikeouts. He recently reached a significant milestone registering his 2,000th strikeout which came on May 27th against the San Francisco Giants.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of pitches thrown,” Price said in an article from the Los Angeles Sentinel. “Whenever I see a milestone like that, its longevity in this game. To be able to have that at the highest level of baseball, it’s special to me.”
Price started that game and went 2.2 innings, finishing with five strikeouts as the Dodgers picked up the 4-3 victory.
He’s currently in the top 100 for most strikeouts in MLB history.
You can see that Price is getting more comfortable on the mound as he’s making more appearances out there.
He made his third start of the season on June 1st against the St. Louis Cardinals. He only lasted 1.2 innings but surrendered just two runs before Joe Kelly came in to relieve him. The Dodgers know Price has been a workhorse throughout his career, so they will pick their spots as to where he can be most effective for them.
Here’s something to note, Price is the last Black pitcher to win 20 games in a season.
That’s right, he did it in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays, the first MLB team he played for. He finished that season with a 20-5 record and won the AL Cy Young Award. Before Price, CC Sabathia was the last Black pitcher to win 20 games in a season, doing it in 2010 with the New York Yankees (20-7).
Only three Black pitchers have won 20 games since 2005 and Dontrelle Willis is the third one when he went 22-10 in 2005 with the Florida Marlins. Price is a winner and he’s done a lot of that throughout his career. And he still has something left in the tank.
It would be foolish to leave out Price’s name when you talk about the best Black pitchers to ever pitch in the MLB. Numbers don’t lie and when his career is over, he will still be mentioned amongst the best to step on the mound.
When he went down, the second-year second baseman was batting .290 with four home runs and seven stolen bases. Chisholm recorded hits in 14 of the 21 games he played before heading to the injured list with a left hamstring strain.
While he was gone, the Marlins went 7-9, including losses in six of their last eight games entering their matchup with the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. In those eight games, Miami scored a total of 22 runs, and six of those came in a 9-6 loss on Friday.
But Jazz joined his teammates on Saturday and hit the field on Sunday, and immediately made a difference.
Playing shortstop in his first game back, Jazz went 2-for-5, while scoring a run and stealing a base in a 3-2 win that allowed Miami to salvage one win in the three-game series and stay three games back of the New York Mets in the division standings. The rookie is a difference-maker and his absence proved it.
He was inches away from collecting his third hit of the game in the ninth inning. It took just about everything Gavin Lux had to throw him out after Jazz sent a two-out grounder back up the middle. That play brought out the best in Lux and Chisolm. That’s what baseball is about.
Jazz putting in work in his first game back shouldn’t be a surprise. He mauled Triple-A pitching during his rehab stint with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He slashed .444/.500/.899, with a home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored in nine at-bats.
Some players just have “it.”
You can’t describe “it.” You can’t develop “it.” You can’t fake “it.”
Jazz Chisholm has “it.”
One of the things that every manager wants to see out of a young player is the ability to learn and adjust.
Chisholm was showing that in the last 15 games before his injury. He hit .327 over that stretch, including mashing all four of his home runs, six of his seven RBIs, and four doubles. His OPS was a ridiculous 1.012, and he was slugging better than .600.
Most importantly, the Marlins produced an 8-7 record in those games.
If you’re nitpicking, then yes, Jazz still strikes out too much and walks too little. Just imagine what damage he could do just by raising his on-base percentage to .420.
But remember, he’s only played in 125 games. He hasn’t truly discovered the rhythms of the major league baseball season. Once he gets that experience, it’s not much of a stretch to think that pitchers across baseball will be adjusting the Jazz Chisholm more than he’ll be adjusting to them.
Mookie Betts hasn’t been his usual dominant baseball self so far this season. Mookie is batting just .250 and he missed a couple of reps after getting beaned on the forearm with some hot cheese a week ago.
Betts has been one of the most productive players in the game over the past five seasons, so the concern is minimal. He hits for average, power, steals bases (last 30-30 players in MLB) and his glove is space-ship special.
If there was any real cause for alarm…meaning if we had to nitpick, the only alarming statistic (other than a batting average that sits 50 points below his career clip) was Betts’ paltry three RBI in 80 official plate appearances coming into Wednesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
We know he’s the party starter in the Dodgers’ lineup and to keep 100, the entire lineup had been slumping during a recent 1-5 stretch, despite the franchise’s impressive collection of offensive powerhouses.
Good thing they play everyday in baseball because an 8-0 win behind seven strong innings from Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday cured those “batter blues” real quick.
It was inevitable that the 2018 AL MVP would get it going sooner than later. Betts’ leadoff double on Tuesday was an Omen of things to come.
Then, on Wednesday, Betts lined a pitch to centerfield for his second hit of the game, driving in two runs and putting the finishing touches on a win that broke a three-game skid. It was the distinguished Black Knight’s first multiple-RBI game of the young season.
Expect many more to follow.
Matt Beaty and Mookie Betts both single for four more runs. Shouts to Sal Romano for giving up as many hits to the Dodgers in an inning as they have had the last 10 games, probably. pic.twitter.com/Bv5lgQXcMr
A player as multifaceted as Mookie is always impactful. Even if he isn’t wielding a hot stick, Betts does so many other things. Smells like Mookie is cooking up one of his infamous hit streaks, where he doesn’t strike out in like 40 or 50 at-bats.
You can’t keep a good brother down for long, especially if his name is Markus Lynn Betts.