Game #8 of Spring Training to see what Josiah Gray again!

Photo by Andy Ward for TalkNats

The Washington Nationals enter this Grapefruit League game at .500 with a 3-3-1 record, and we only wish that Spring Training records could be indicative of what the regular season’s record would be. The Nats would certainly take a .500 record for the 2023 regular season at 81-81. It might be a baseball miracle. But let’s stop dreaming, and talk about today’s game. Josiah Gray makes his second start of the season. There is no TV and probably no Statcast available to see or chart what Gray is throwing. His last start was all of nine pitches in a one-inning performance with no runs. What he was throwing in that start was a bit of a mystery. Cutters or sliders? As Sunday’s game was in-progress, Statcast was charting 4-seamers, sinkers, curveballs and five sliders. Days later, the sliders were reclassified as cutters. We know that Gray has been working in the offseason on throwing cutters. But we also know that Gray’s sliders were some of his best pitches last season along with his curveball. In September of 2022, Gray’s main fastball was his sinker that he started throwing towards the end of the season. The sinker had better analytics than the 4-seamer. If Gray can come through Spring Training with more effective pitches, that would be a positive. Spring Training is about getting ready for the regular season. Players will try certain new mechanics and approaches, and in Gray’s case it is new mechanics and a new pitch. You might notice that today’s lineup could be something you might see in the opening week at least in eight of the spots in the lineup. This particular lineup has Jake Alu in there at second base and Luis Garcia with the day off. Maybe if you homer off of Max Scherzer you earn a day of rest and relaxation the next day in Spring Training.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals Stadium: The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches; West Palm Beach, Florida 1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT TV: N/A Radio: Nationals Radio and the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
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