With the 2022 regular season over, it is that time where we go back and take a look at the players who appeared for the Texas Rangers this past season.
Today, we look at pitcher Jon Gray.
Jon Gray did not have the season that we were all hoping for in 2022. Gray was signed by the Rangers to a four year, $56 million deal right before the lockout hit in the 2021-22 offseason, and there was some belief that, after toiling in the hitter-friendly atmosphere in Colorado his whole career up to that point, he might be poised for a breakout year closer to sea level.
Instead, Gray missed most of April due to going onto the injured list after each of his first two starts — a blister, and then a knee sprain — and then missed six weeks late in the season due to an oblique strain. As a result, Gray only made 24 starts, putting up a 3.96 ERA (good for just a 99 ERA+) and a 3.80 FIP. He registered a 1.4 bWAR for the year. We had hoped for more.
That said, healthy Jon Gray was pretty good in 2022. From May 3, when he returned from his second injured list stint, through the end of July, Jon Gray made 16 starts for the Rangers. In those 16 starts, he threw 93 innings, struck out 105 batters, and put up a 3.29 ERA with a 3.15 FIP.
Gray followed that up with an injury-shortened outing where he allowed four runs in 1.1 IP, missed six weeks, and returned to allow a 4.50 in his final five starts to finish out the season.
Jon Gray has become something of a forgotten man in the Rangers’ rotation, what with Martin Perez’s breakout in 2022, the signing of Jacob deGrom, and the addition of other new rotation members over the course of the offseason. Its, oh, yeah, that guy who the Rangers signed last year who didn’t really pan out like it was hoped, he is still around.
And Gray isn’t a legit #1 starter. He’s not going to displace deGrom as the guy you want on the mound as your Game 1 starter in a playoff series.
But...Gray, when he was healthy last year, pitched awfully well. Good enough to be a solid #2 or a really strong #3 starter, in fact. We just need to see if he can do that over a full season in 2023.