Colorado Rockies Rundown: CarGo’s Knee, Justin Morneau’s Return, Chad Bettis’ Bat
By Bobby DeMuro
Aug 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher J. Gray (55) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the New York Mets at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Gray gets scouted by MLB.com
The Colorado Rockies won’t trot Jon Gray out for his next start until the weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but MLB.com got around to scouting him out now that he’s made a few starts in the big leagues, and we’ve got the good stuff for you here.
Although we know a lot about Gray by watching him (and tracking him before he got to Denver), there are a few pertinent things in that scouting report to note.
[ Related: Jon Gray already knows he belongs with the Colorado Rockies ]
First, MLB.com’s Bernie Pleskoff echoes what many of us are saying about Gray, and how he doesn’t need to throw complete gas to be successful:
"“Gray’s velocity had always been high, until he hit a bit of a rough patch last season. Perhaps some shoulder fatigue he encountered last season factored into the equation. Gray’s velocity has declined just a bit recently, and he generally sits in the mid-to-high 90s. He doesn’t need to hit 100 to be successful. Gray is fine where he’s currently sitting.”"
There’s also an interesting note on Gray’s secondary pitches (specifically his changeup):
"“Gray is late in developing his changeup, because he was missing bats so frequently in college with his high-velocity fastball. He only threw the changeup once or twice a game. He has said he holds his fastball a bit different than most pitchers, using a small circle on the outside of the ball.”"
That’s unfortunate for a few obvious reasons, but it makes sense, because when Gray was at the University of Oklahoma, not many guys he was facing were hitting a 98mph fastball — and those that were couldn’t keep up with Gray’s power slider.
[ Related: Early guesses at the Colorado Rockies’ 2016 starting rotation ]
Now, though, against the very best hitters in the world, Gray is going to need to develop something to go along with his top two pitch offerings.
There is one big thing here: several of the starters in the Colorado Rockies’ rotation right now feature some form of changeup as one of their primary offspeed pitches (Flande, Jorge De La Rosa).
This would be a great time for Gray to learn what the changeup is all about from two pitchers with lesser power offerings who have relied on changing speeds to be successful at this level.