Colorado Rockies: We have to talk about Jon Gray

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09: Starting pitcher Jon Gray
DENVER, CO - APRIL 09: Starting pitcher Jon Gray /

The Colorado Rockies have once again entrusted Jon Gray to be their ace this year. However, it’s not looking to be Bud Black‘s best move as this season has not been good to him so far. When a team picks an ace, they’re not only looking for a guy who can give them stability but also someone who can be the anchor in the rotation. This hasn’t been happening with Jon Gray at all this season, which is we have to talk about him.

The spot that Jon Gray is in at this moment is the spot that most first round draft picks are expected to be in. However, the way he’s currently playing is not how a first rounder should be pitching. I get that it’s still early but right now we could be witnessing tell-tale signs of what’s to come from him for the rest of season?

Jon Gray has only had four starts this season and three of those were losses. Within those losses, he was barely able to stay in the games. His very first start was just a reminder of the nightmare game that the NL Wild Card game was. That game ended just like the Wild Card, but unlike that game, he stayed in four innings instead of two. This isn’t the ideal start you look for in the very first game of the season from your ace.

Things did seem to get better as Jon Gray didn’t have Opening Day jitters in his second start against the San Diego Padres. He pitched in 7 innings, which was extremely reassuring. He got the win and it not only looked good for him, but also the team in general. It appeared as thought Jon Gray was back to the form he should be as an ace.

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Moving onto his third start, it was as if he reverted back to his first game of the season. This time, Jon Gray only stayed in 5 innings and gave up 7 runs (all earned).

His fourth start was more of the same he went 5.2 innings while giving up 5 runs (all earned). I did start to ponder what the issue is with Jon Gray. I believe it’s something minor that no has pointed out yet so he doesn’t know what’s really got him pitching this way. Essentially, pitching coach Steve Foster needs to work on something with Gray, whether it be mechanics, grip on his pitches, etc.

I’ve talked about how I think that pitching will be the Colorado Rockies shortcoming this season and it’s proving to be right so far with the rotation. Entering Friday, the Rockies’ starters ERA is 4.24, or 20th in the majors. The National League average is 3.88. I will admit on the bright side with Jon Gray, he has only walked 5 batters and struck out 23 batters in 21 2/3 innings. However, that doesn’t make up for the lack of dependability. I’ve even talked about how German Marquez will prove to be a better ace and he did just that in the win on Monday against the Pirates, when he gave up two runs in six innings.

Next: Execution lacking for Rockies early in the season

The Colorado Rockies have put a serious amount of faith in Jon Gray. Currently, he is not meeting nor exceeding those expectations. This isn’t good for the ace of the team. The change has got to come now. We’ll be watching Jon Gray very closely as he starts the first game of the series against the Cubs. This will be his fifth start and I’m eager to see how long he can stay in the game and hold off any runs. The ace sets the mood for the rest of the rotation, the mood isn’t looking to good right now. It’s time for a change from Jon Gray.