Gray (forearm) to IL; potential ALDS return possible

September 30th, 2023

SEATTLE -- With just three days left in the regular season, the Rangers’ pitching staff has taken yet another hit.

After a plethora of injuries to the starting rotation throughout the season, the club announced on Friday that would be placed on the 15-day injured list with mild right lower forearm tightness. Rookie Jake Latz was recalled in his place.

The move is retroactive to Sept. 28, which would line up Gray to return for a potential American League Division Series Game 5 on Oct. 13.

Texas manager Bruce Bochy said that Gray had imaging done on his wrist on Tuesday, the day after he was removed from the series opener against the Angels in the bottom of the seventh inning. He came out to warm up after six innings of one-run ball, but quickly left with Rangers trainers. The club described the move as precautionary and due to wrist tightness at the time.

Gray continued to play catch the following days, but he never improved enough to pitch.

“It probably would be a situation where he could skip a start and go, but we don't want to be short a pitcher at this point in the season,” Bochy said. “We got the scans, and then he still felt something in there. It was more about how he felt. So the scan was there, obviously, and that was going to raise some concern. It really wasn't coming around to the point where we wouldn’t put him at risk out there. We knew it would be close and we had to make a decision today.”

Gray will be the Rangers’ fourth starting pitcher to land on the IL at some point this season. He joins Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, both of whom are out for the remainder of the regular season, and All-Star Nathan Eovaldi, who has since returned to the rotation.

Gray has posted a 4.12 ERA over 29 starts for Texas this season, ranking second on the pitching staff in innings (157 1/3) and strikeouts (142).

will start on Saturday in Seattle, which would have been Scherzer's scheduled day. Bochy said the Rangers still do not have a starter in place for the regular-season finale on Sunday, which is Gray’s spot.

Rookie Cody Bradford (84 ERA+) has slotted into Scherzer’s spot twice since the ace went down. Martín Pérez (97 ERA+) is also an option, depending on his potential relief usage over the coming days. Both he and Heaney opened the season in the rotation, but transitioned to the bullpen after the Trade Deadline brought Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery to Texas.