As Josiah Gray makes his 30th and final start of the 2023 season, Washington Nationals skipper Davey Martinez announced that the 25-year-old will be starting his second full season and third time in the majors since his debut in 2021. He talked about his growth as a starter. .
“Well, obviously, initially he was an All-Star player for us,” Martinez told reporters. “It’s about consistency with him every five days, but, well, he’s made incredible progress, he’s really doing that. So I hope he gets a little bit better next year and I As I always say, I hope to be on the All-Star team at the end of the year. That’s the team you really want.”
“However, he did really well. I’m proud of him,” Martinez added.
“He goes out and competes and he’s a pretty competitive guy, so we’re looking forward to getting him back here, fresh and ready for spring training.”
The sixth-year captain acknowledged that Gray is still early in his career and said the starter is defining himself as a big league starter and establishing his identity in the big leagues. .
“We talk a lot with him about his identity and what he wants to do,” Martinez said. So, he doesn’t want to take anything away and add anything, but he understands that he has to do a better job of pitching fastballs and throwing fastballs for strikes. I want you to. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place. ”
“He has to be able to attack, but the problem is he goes back. When he goes back, all of a sudden he has to throw the ball over the plate,” the coach added.
“He needs to work forward. And the biggest key is when he does that, he pitches well.”
There were a lot of good things about Gray overall, but he is critical of himself and can be a bit of a perfectionist, so before his final game as a starter, Martinez announced that his right-hander would have to wait for the winter. I was asked what I thought were the good things to focus on. He is evaluating his season and looking to build on what he has accomplished so far in his career.
“We’re talking to him to understand, ‘He did some really good things this year, he really grew and grew,'” Martinez said. “He understands that he can throw here and do very well. But he’s going to come out this winter and get really good. And we’re going to improve his mechanics. We talk a lot about improving a little bit, and like I said, really honing in on throwing strikes one with his fastball and being able to stay ahead with his fastball and use it as a weapon. It’s about doing.
“He took that to heart. I know he’s going to work to get even better this winter.”
Gray lowered his ERA on the year from 4.00 to 3.91 in the first six of two games against the Orioles this week in Baltimore (Decreased from 5.02 ERA in 2022), 4.94 FIP(down from 5.86), 143 strikeouts (8.09K/9; down from 9.32), 80 walks (4.53BB/9, Increased from 4.00), 22 home runs allowed (1.25 HR/9, down from 2.30), .251/.345/.412 line in 30 starts and 159 IP (After he got up to 148 2⁄3 2022 IP, .239/.324/.489 line for the year.).
After the final game of the season, Gray said he was satisfied with being able to finish the season on a high note, posting a 2.95 ERA, 4.95 FIP, and a batting average of .241/.322/.430. 4 start and 21 1⁄3 September IP.
“I think any time we can come off a strong run, we can go into the offseason with a positive mindset,” Gray told reporters at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“We’ve had some good outings the last few times,” he continued. result. So I’m able to focus on those things and have a positive offseason and look forward to coming back from there next year. ”
Although he finished well, Gray struggled overall in the second half of the 2023 season, posting a 3.41 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 47 walks (4.22 BB/9), 92 Ks (8.25 K/9), and a batting average of .253/. He left a record of .339/.415 line in 18 starts and 100 1⁄3 IP before the All-Star break, then started 12 games with a 4.76 ERA, 5.24 FIP, 33 walks (5.06/9 BB), 51 Ks (7.82 K/9), and a .248/.355/.405 line. 58 2⁄3 After representing the club as an All-Star for the first time in July, he appeared in the IP in the so-called second half of the year.
“It’s been a crazy season,” Gray said.
“Obviously, I never dreamed that I would be selected as an All-Star, and to be able to go out there and be successful, just being in that environment was surreal. And the struggle after the break was tough. There are really no words to describe it. I can’t describe it. You know, it was kind of like [question], “Hey, what am I doing here?” Where are things going? ”
“So for me to be able to bounce back from that, obviously with the trust of my teammates and staff, that means a lot. “Every day I go to know there are brighter days ahead. I can go out there and keep working.”
“It’s been a good year,” Gray added. “But we know there is still much work to do.”
The manager said the next step for the starting pitcher is to repeat what he did against the Orioles every time he takes the mound. In one word: consistency.
“What we saw today, I think he can repeat every five days,” Martinez explained after Gray started against the O’s. And now, like I said, this should give him confidence, especially in how he uses his changeup, how he uses his fastball, and knowing where his fastball is.
“This was a huge step forward for him and, like I said, it will be great to come back this winter and build on that.”
The starters echoed the same sentiment in their postgame comments.
“I think tonight summed up the pitcher I can be,” Gray told reporters. “I was able to get ground balls when I wanted them. The contact becomes weaker. I minimize the damage. I work on one or two walks.
“Getting strikeouts when it counts. That’s the pitcher I know I can be. It’s just about being consistent with that.”
“He’s still young,” Martinez said. “He’s still learning. He’s learning a lot about himself. He’s learning a lot about what he can and can’t do. But I think in the future he’ll be in the spotlight. I’m not just talking about the short term, I’m talking about the long term. With him, we can win here and be as good as we should be. I think we have a chance to get back to where we need to be and that is to make the playoffs.”
Nationals GM: ‘This was another good step in his development’ Mike Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan on Sports Junkies in DC Wednesday morning, we looked back at the season the Nationals have acquired starting pitching. dodgers The term contracts would keep both Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in Los Angeles through 2021.
“He knows his walks are a big part of his success and he needs to improve on that, but he’s improved a little bit on that. He’s obviously improved his home run rate and he’s got a lot more possession and poise. He’s started attacking the strike zone. He’s got some whiffs. So he’s made a big change. It’s been a good growth year for him.”
“We’ll start with 30 people,” Rizzo added. “He got through the season with 30 starts. Next year I hope he takes it and runs with it and throws 180-200 innings. And we don’t have to monitor him, we don’t have to worry about him. There’s no need to do anything with him, just give him the ball every five days and let it roll.”