Josiah Gray, one of the highly-touted prospects in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, will be making his
major league debut on Tuesday in the second contest of a four-game set against the division-leading San Francisco Giants, who currently sport the best record in the majors.
Dennis first talked about the possibility of Gray’s debut in Saturday’s column.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team is expected to use a lefty opener, so the 23-year-old Gray will have to wait another time to make his first big league start. However, Gray will be expected to throw perhaps somewhere around 60-80 pitches in Tuesday’s game.
“It’s such a cool opportunity for him,” teammate Zach Reks said. “I’m so glad he finally got the call. You can just tell he’s feeling a little bit nervous. He’s got those butterflies. It’s awesome to see that.”
The Dodgers traded for Gray back in 2018, along with Jeter Downs, when they offloaded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds. As we know, Downs no longer is in the Dodgers organization as he was traded to the Red Sox in the Mookie Betts deal.
Ironically enough, the left-hander Wood starts for the Giants tonight, so he will face the player he was once traded for in Gray.
Gray has only made four appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year due to a shoulder injury that kept him out a couple of months. So far in those appearances, he’s posted a 2.87 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP in 15 ⅔ innings. He’s also struck out 22 batters while only walking two.
The right-hander is the highest-ranked pitching prospect in the Dodgers farm system, as well as the second-best prospect overall, according to MLB Pipeline.
With the trade deadline just a little under two weeks away, the Dodgers are looking for any pitching help they can get. They currently are down three starting pitchers from the beginning of the year. Hope is that Gray will help alleviate part of that problem. The youngster will look to make a strong impression and perhaps stick to a role with the major league club moving forward.
Overall, Gray’s minor league numbers across three levels over three years are a 14-5 record with a 2.41 ERA. He’s pitched 198 innings and recorded 228 strikeouts, giving up 135 hits.
In his last game on Thursday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Gray struck out seven batters just in 4 ⅔ innings on 68 pitches.
It will be quite exciting to see Gray make his debut, although the Dodgers may want to be cautious since he hasn’t thrown more than 70 pitches since returning from his injury.
In other news, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager can potentially return Wednesday night. Seager has been out since May with a broken hand. Recently, Seager faced recovering reliever Corey Knebel in a simulated game. Roberts confirmed Seager’s potential return in a press conference Monday, although the shortstop has not undergone any rehab assignment.
After dropping the first game of the series Monday, the Dodgers look to get back in the win column in the second game. Wood is 8-3 with a 3.67 ERA this season.
Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.