The Reds have activated righty Sonny Gray from the 10-day injured list, the team announced. Gray is scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Brewers. To create roster space, right-hander Nate Jones has been designated for assignment.
A back strain sent Gray to the injured list on September 13 (retroactive placement to September 11), though fortunately for Gray and the Reds, the injury looks to have been a relatively minor one. Gray is now also lined up to start Sunday in what would be Cincinnati’s final game of the regular season, though that game is likely to be an all-hands-on-deck type of situation if the Reds need to win to clinch a playoff spot.
Heading into today’s action, the 28-27 Reds hold the seventh seed as a wild card in the NL postseason field, but the Brewers and Giants aren’t far behind at 26-27, with the eighth-seed Phillies sandwiched in between with an even 28-28 record. Cincinnati is also chasing the 26-25 Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, which guaranteed an automatic playoff berth.
Ironically, the Reds have gone 9-2 since Gray was retroactively placed on the IL, though there is no doubt he represents a major addition for Cincy down the stretch. Gray has a 3.94 ERA, 11.8 K/9, and 2.86 K/BB rate over 45 2/3 innings this season, with ERA indicators (2.92 FIP, 3.16 xFIP, 3.80 SIERA) generally showing that Gray’s 3.94 number is a bit inflated.
Jones struck out 23 batters and recorded a strong 3.83 K/BB rate over his 18 2/3 relief innings this season, but an ugly 2.4 HR/9 was largely responsible for Jones’ 6.27 ERA. On the plus side, the oft-injured Jones did stay healthy this year after missing much of 2019 due to forearm surgery, though he was obviously hoping for better performance for his hometown team. Jones signed a minor league deal with the Reds last winter.