Gray said his struggles this season were due to health issues, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports. "I wasn't really healthy," the right-hander said. "My (velocity) was down this year. I was down about 20 pounds." The 2018 campaign was a rollercoaster of a year for Gray. The right-hander began the season as the Rockies' Opening Day starter but was sent to the minors before the All-Star break due to his struggles (5.44 ERA across 18 first-half starts). Gray flashed his potential upon his return to the majors -- he posted a 2.59 ERA across his first seven starts back with the big club -- though he struggled down the stretch and was ultimately left off the team's playoff roster. While the 26-year-old believes his struggles were health-related, he was unsure when asked if he was battling an illness. "Maybe, I'm not sure," Gray stated. "My body kind of did a 180 (degree turn) this year and I'm not sure why. I want to get it back under control and get back to being strong." Gray plans on bulking up this offseason in an effort to turn things around next year, though only time will tell if his added muscle helps.
Gray is not on the Rockies' NLDS roster against Milwaukee. Gray struggled during three of his final four starts in the regular season, logging a 9.60 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in those outings. Manager Bud Black elected to keep 12 pitchers on the active roster, including Chad Bettis over Gray.
Gray (12-9) allowed five earned runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out one across two innings to take the loss Saturday against the Nationals. Gray wasn't able to get anything going in a game with significant implications for the National League West title, allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base -- both of which came around to score. Things didn't improve in the second inning, with the big blow being a two-run homer by Trea Turner. This was the latest in what has been a mystifying 2018 campaign for Gray, as he's struck out 183 batters across 172.1 innings while also posting a 5.12 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.
Gray is scheduled to start Saturday's game against the Nationals, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. After posting a 7.88 ERA and 2.00 WHIP over his first four starts in September, Gray bounced back in impressive fashion while starting Monday against the Phillies on short notice. Though he was initially scheduled to take the hill Tuesday, Gray was pressed into action a day earlier than anticipated after Tyler Anderson was scratched with a sore shoulder. Gray proceeded to toss seven innings of one-run ball en route to the win, keeping the Rockies' playoff hopes alive in the process. With the team having yet to punch its postseason ticket, Gray will take the hill Saturday for what could be the most important start to date of his young career.
Gray will start Monday against the Phillies rather than Tuesday after Tyler Anderson was scratched due to left shoulder soreness, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. The change in schedule won't mean Gray starts on short rest, as his last start came the previous Monday. It does mean that he could be more likely to have a two-start week, as he'll presumably pitch again Saturday or Sunday against the Nationals. He'll have to pitch well Monday to keep his spot in the rotation, however, as he's allowed a combined 10 runs in six innings over his last two outings.