Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez on Josiah Gray in D.C.: Year One

Josiah Grey – 12 months One:

Josiah Grey went 13 days between his final two begins earlier than Sunday’s outing, with time without work for the All-Star Break, however it was not the primary time the 24-year-old righty has been given an prolonged break between his begins this season.

Washington’s Nationals have tried to handle Grey’s innings in his first full season of their group following final July thirtieth’s commerce from the Los Angeles Dodgers, which despatched a pair gamers (named Max Scherzer and Trea Turner) out to LA in return for 4 gamers, (Grey, catcher Keibert Ruiz, pitcher Gerardo Carrillo, and outfielder Donovan Casey).

Supervisor Davey Martinez mentioned, earlier than Grey took on his one-time group final week, he thought his right-hander was dealing with his first full season within the majors pretty properly, and ensuring to get his work in between turns within the rotation so he’s sharp when he does take the mound.

“He’s been working,” Martinez defined in his pregame presser in Dodger Stadium. “I do know he’s throwing in depth bullpens. Earlier than the break, he threw nearer to a 70-pitch bullpen, so he threw one other good one right here earlier than this begin, so we’re simply hoping that one, it gave him some relaxation, he was in a position to work on a pair issues he needed to work on, that he comes out right this moment and he’s recent.”

Picture by Greg Fiume/Getty Photographs

Grey gave up 5 hits (two homers), two walks, and three runs in 5 innings of labor on the mound towards the Dodgers, in an 8-3 win for the Nationals, leaving him with a 4.45 ERA, a 5.32 FIP, 41 walks (3.80 BB/9), 112 Ks (10.39 Ok/9), and a .229/.312/.457 line towards in 18 begins and 97 IP on the 12 months.

Earlier than he took on the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday, Martinez talked in regards to the progress he’s seen from Grey for the reason that pitcher made his debut with the Nationals final August 2nd.

“He’s actually realized rather a lot about methods to pitch in sure conditions,” the fifth-year skipper instructed reporters. “What’s working that day. What he can get away with. Whether or not he’s obtained to pitch up, he’s obtained to pitch down, his breaking ball utilization. On the flip facet, we’ve nonetheless obtained to develop that changeup. And he understands that. He desires to attempt to use it extra. He’s getting snug. Each time he goes on the market he throws a pair extra. However he’s nonetheless not very snug throwing it, however he has to throw it.”

Going into yesterday’s begin, Grey’d thrown the change simply 3.2% of the time in 2022, (with a .571 BAA on the pitch), relying totally on his four-seam fastball (42.5%; .284), slider (28.3%; .169), and his curve (25.6%; .198), with the occasional (0.5%) sinker.

Greater than the pitch combine, Martinez mentioned, the important thing in relation to Grey is his means to throw aggressive strikes and keep forward within the depend.

“The most important factor for him is getting forward in counts,” Martinez mentioned. “When he’s forward in counts, he’s actually, actually good, and he’s obtained actually good put-away pitches as everyone knows.

“However he’s been rather a lot higher since I noticed him first final 12 months about attacking the strike zone,” the supervisor added.

“Figuring out that he can assault the strike zone, not being afraid to throw strikes when he must, and methods to use each pitch in sure conditions, so he’s been actually, actually good, after which what I see in-between begins is phenomenal.”

Martinez, who talked throughout Scherzer’s tenure in D.C. in regards to the between-starts work being as spectacular as what the longer term Corridor-of-Famer did on the mound, mentioned he sees some actually spectacular, related issues with Grey, although he provided the required caveat about attempting to match anybody to Scherzer.

St. Louis Cardinals v. Washington Nationals

Picture by Rob Tringali/MLB Photographs through Getty Photographs

“His work ethic is actually, actually, actually good. And I don’t wish to evaluate him to anyone, however he’s very aggressive,” Martinez mentioned, “even the times he don’t pitch, and we had one man like that that we’ll see this week, in Max Scherzer, proper? Max was aggressive, on daily basis… each single day.

“[Gray] does that. He pushes himself within the weight room, to get stronger, to get higher, he pushes himself on daily basis, he’s continuously watching movies of his opponents, and really going again and watching the video games and seeing what he did improper and what he can do higher. This child, he desires to be right here, he desires to assist us win, and we love having him right here.”

On Sunday afternoon, Grey obtained by way of two innings on 29 pitches, placing out 4 of the primary seven Cardinals’ batters he confronted, however Corey Dickerson doubled down the road in proper, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a grounder off Dylan Carlson’s bat, 1-0 Playing cards.

Grey issued back-to-back, one-out walks to Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar in a stretch through which he threw 9 straight balls, and a two-out, three-run residence run to proper by Dickerson, who hit an 84 MPH, 2-1 curve out to present St. Louis a 4-0 lead in a 5-0 win through which the starter went 5 innings complete.

He managed to get 13 swinging strikes on 38 swings, and 14 known as strikes, seven together with his fastball, six together with his slider, and one together with his curve, however as Martinez mentioned after the loss, he’d fallen behind all day, and paid for it when he did.

“When he was forward – I feel he was forward eight instances right this moment – no one obtained on base. When he falls behind, he had a bunch of site visitors. So, right this moment I feel it was virtually 50-50 on balls and strikes. He’s obtained to be efficient within the strike zone, get early contacts, like we discuss, however actually, he’s obtained to essentially concentrate on getting forward of hitters.”