Sonny Gray hasn't had a good year. Through nine starts, his ERA is over 6.00, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is below 2.00, and he's exited three of his last five tries without completing four innings. Any time a pitcher like Gray goes through a prolonged slump, there's bound to be speculation about a potential injury. On Sunday, that conjecture was validated, as Gray was placed on the disabled list:
Gray's injury listed as a strained right trapezius.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 22, 2016
For those wondering, the trapezius is the large muscle located between the shoulder and neck. In recent years, other big names have missed time due to similar reasons. For instance, Yu Darvish missed two weeks in 2013, and last summer Stephen Strasburg missed about three weeks with his own strained trapezius. With any luck, Gray will spend the next two-to-three weeks on the mend before returning to action. Here's Bob Melvn's explanation of how the injury is affecting Gray (an explanation that, by the way, seems confirmed by PITCHf/x data):
Melvin says he could see Gray's injury affecting his arm slot and extension, hence the lack of command lately.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 22, 2016
Still, this is another big hit for the A's, who just lost Josh Reddick a few days ago. The A's were already closer to last place than first, and neither injury is going to help their trajectory. As such, you wonder whether June will see Billy Beane and company set the tone for the rest of the trade market. Therein is another problem though: without Gray and Reddick, the A's don't have too many desirable pieces -- and worse yet, who knows if and how Gray and Reddick's trade value will be dinged by their injuries.
Every injury hurts a team on the field. But the loss of Gray, much like the loss of Reddick, might be hurting the A's off of it, too -- even if Gray returns to norm come mid-June.