Josh and his wife, Katie, got married in St. Louis in November, and honeymooned on Captiva Island…the couple met at Webster University, where she played volleyball…his junior and her senior year, they were named the school’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year...Josh’s parents, Mark and Lori, and Katie traveled to St. Petersburg to be on hand for his major league debut last season…with no fans permitted inside Tropicana Field, they watched the game on television from Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill across the street from the ballpark...Rays minor league field coordinator Michael Johns announced Josh was to join the big league team in front of gathered players at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte…when he shared the news, the room burst with excitement in celebration with Josh...He is colorblind and sometimes has difficulties distinguishing blue from purple and red from green...He makes regular appearances on disc golf courses around St. Louis during the offseason and keeps a small collection of discs.
Selected from the alternate training site on Aug 23 and remained on the active roster for the rest of the season…from Aug 23 through season’s end, his 5 wins tied Tyler Glasnow and SEA Marco Gonzales for the major league lead...From the date of his major league debut through the end of the season, ranked among major league rookie leaders in wins (1st), innings (32.1, tied for 5th), ERA (2.78, 2nd) and opp avg. (.230, 4th)...His 5-game winning streak is the longest for a Rays pitcher to begin a major league career, breaking a tie with Adam Kolarek (2017-19), Jake Faria (2017), Jeremy Hellickson (2010), Tim Corcoran (2006) and James Shields (2006)...Became the second Rays rookie to finish a season with 5 wins (or more) and no losses, joining Jalen Beeks (5-0) in 2018...Was the third Rays pitcher to start and win each of his first three major league apps, joining Jake Faria in 2017 and Jeremy Hellickson 2010…this streak ended when he received no decision in his fourth outing, a start on Sept. 10 vs. BOS...Pitched twice in relief, both times following opener Pete Fairbanks and reliever Ryan Thompson…went 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA (6.2-IP, 1-ER) in 2 apps out of the bullpen...Two of his five starts were scoreless, and one of his two apps out of the bullpen was scoreless...Min. 20 IP, his groundball rate of 64.6 pct. led the AL and ranked 3rd in the majors...Yielded 7 BB in 32.1 IP for a 1.95 BB/9 IP ratio...On Aug 23 vs. TOR, became the 10th starter in franchise history to win his major league debut… yielded 2 runs in 5 IP in the 5-4 victory…retired 10 of his first 11 BF, with the only exception over that stretch a Teoscar Hernández homer in the 2nd inning…allowed four consecutive 1-out baserunners in the 4th, including a Travis Shaw RBI single, before stranding the bases loaded...On Sep 27 vs. PHI, started the regular season finale and did not allow a run in a career-high 6 IP…was the first Rays rookie to make a scoreless start of 6 IP (or more) since Brendan McKay’s major league debut on June 29, 2019 vs. TEX...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 24 prospect in the Rays system following the season… the publication also tabbed him as having the Best Changeup in the organization.
POSTSEASON: Went 0-0 with a 6.35 ERA (5.2-IP, 4-ER) in 2 apps…was not on the roster for the Wild Card Series or ALDS...In Game 5 of the ALCS at HOU, replaced opener John Curtiss in the 2nd inning for his postseason debut…both runs allowed came on a 2-run single by Michael Brantley in the 3rd...In Game 1 of the World Series at LAD, entered in the 6th inning and allowed a solo homer to Mookie Betts on his first pitch and back-to-back 1-out doubles to Justin Turner and Max Muncy.
Named Most Valuable Player for Double-A Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department…tied for the Southern League lead with 11 wins and ranked 5th with a 3.31 ERA… named to the SL midseason All-Star Team, and won Pitcher of the Week honors for July 22-28 after back-to-back 9-inning complete games…earned a mid-August promotion to Triple-A Durham, and combined to go 12-7 with a 3.57 ERA (148.2-IP, 59-ER) between the two levels…won his third start with the Bulls and his 12 total wins tied for 3rd among Rays minor leaguers, one shy of the coleaders…ranked by Baseball America as the No. 29 prospect in the Rays system following the season.
Split the season between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte, going 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA (110.1-IP, 31-ER) in 19 apps (17 starts)…tied for 4th among Rays minor leaguers in wins.
Began his professional career with Rookielevel Princeton…recorded the win in his first professional appearance, going two hitless innings in relief on June 27 at Danville (Braves).