The A's really screwed the pooch by not trading Sonny Gray last offseason, as the team has few assets and Gray's value had nowhere to go but down. Now coming off a disaster campaign and becoming increasingly expensive as the right-hander accrues service time, Gray's trade value is at an all-time low, and the A's find themselves in the unenviable position of having to either accept 50 cents on their trade dollar or to sit back and pay to see whether Gray can reestablish his market value. That's not to say that Gray's disastrous 2016 season was bound to happen, but as a pitcher with a very modest strikeout rate, his ultimate value was largely determined by results on balls in play, factors that are largely outside his control. He will look to resurrect his value in 2017 and the A's will give him every opportunity to do so, but he is a two-category pitcher as long as he's in Oakland and those two categories fell apart last season.
Gray (back) is now throwing from 150 feet, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Oakland's ace continues to make steady progress in his throwing program, as he was throwing at half that distance less than a week ago. The 27-year-old right-hander is still projected to be out until mid-April at the earliest.
Gray (back) will continue his throwing program Wednesday, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports. Gray started his throwing program Tuesday, making 20 throws from 60 feet and 15 from 75 feet. He came out of the session without any setbacks, after being shut down from throwing for more than three weeks. The 27-year-old is targeting a return in mid-to-late April.
Gray (back) will begin his throwing program on Tuesday after getting cleared by Dr. Anthony Romeo, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Initially Gray was shut down from throwing for three weeks, and he was cleared to resume tossing at the two-week mark, which is promising. It would appear the 27-year-old is ahead of schedule for his late-April return date, but Gray continues to emphasize that he remains without a timetable. He'll toss from 75 feet on Tuesday, and barring any setbacks, he should continue to ramp up his workouts until he is ready to return in mid-to-late April.
Gray (lat strain) will be shut down for three weeks, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Gray was all over the place in Tuesday's Cactus League game, issuing four walks and uncorking three wild pitches, and he reported some discomfort following the outing. Manager Bob Melvin was hoping the issue was minor but an MRI revealed the strain to Gray's lat muscle, and with three weeks of rest prescribed to treat the issue, Gray is looking at a late-April return in a best-case scenario. Kendall Graveman now appears in line to start for the A's on Opening Day.
Gray surrendered seven earned runs on five hits, four walks and three wild pitches over two innings in Tuesday's 21-13 Cactus League victory over the Diamondbacks. He struck out three. A few batters in, Gray may have well been wishing he was getting ready to pitch for Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, as he'd originally been scheduled to before an insurance issue prevented from participating. He was touched up for five runs in the first inning, although his actual performance during the frame wasn't as poor as the numbers might indicate. Gray's trouble started after throwing a wild pitch on strike three to David Peralta, which allowed the outfielder to reach and Gregor Blanco, who'd laced a game-opening triple, to score. First baseman Yonder Alonso then allowed a would-be double-play ball to skirt past him two batters later, which brought home another run, and then Ketel Marte took him deep for a three-run home run. Gray's poor command was responsible for another run in the second as well, as he uncorked another errant offering, allowing Chris Iannetta to score. Gray attributed his his attempts to throw his slider as the principal reason for his wildness, and neither he nor manager Bob Melvin were overly concerned with Tuesday's outcome. "The first inning wasn't as bad as the number looked," Melvin said. "It got a little out of hand, but his stuff was still good."