Colorado Rockies: Jon Gray talks rain day activities, preparation
By Duane DaPron
Jon Gray was not going to let a little rain derail his plans at the Colorado Rockies spring training complex on Wednesday.
Heavy overnight rains Tuesday were followed by more rain showers Wednesday morning at Colorado’s spring training home in Scottsdale. The rain resulted in practice plans being altered for Gray and the rest of the Colorado Rockies pitching staff.
For Jon Gray, who fashioned an 11-8 record and a 3.84 earned run average in 26 games (25 starts) a year ago, the rainy day in Scottsdale had a minimal impact on the right-hander, who is scheduled to start the team’s spring training contest Thursday against Milwaukee.
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“It’s a pretty easy day for me,” the native of Shawnee, Okla., said, before the Rockies and Chicago White Sox were washed out on Wednesday afternoon.
“I am just going to try to find some place dry and get my arm going. That’s about it. Other than that, there are other things we can work on, too. Today, the day before a game, I just try to get my arm going a little bit and try to think a lot.”
But for other members of the Rockies pitching corps, instructional plans were altered with Wednesday morning’s inclement weather conditions.
“We may get a cage to do some pickoff stuff,” Gray said. “But it’s going to be a pretty light day for us for sure.”
Gray, who played at the University of Oklahoma before being selected by the Rockies as the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, has seen action in only one game thus far in spring training.
He is looking to return to form after suffering a fracture in his left foot in August that ended his 2019 season.
“Everything is going pretty well,” Gray said.
“The foot feels really good. It feels healthy. I was able to put on a lot of weight so I feel good about that.”
“But I haven’t seen a lot from myself yet in games,” he added. “I have only thrown two innings. There is still a lot there I need to work out. Tomorrow, I am going to go. Hopefully that tells me a little bit more.”
Gray, who has won 10 or more games in each of the last four seasons with a career-best 12 victories in 2018, has specific objectives that he wants to meet during Cactus League action.
“There are a lot of things,” he said.
“I would say the main thing is a solid delivery I can repeat. That is what I am working on right now. To make sure I can use all of my pitches to the best of their ability and be able to repeat that over and over. I have been trying to really nail down the mechanics.”
Gray, who has an MLB career mark of 43-33 in five seasons, also hopes to serve as an example — in his own way — as a returning member of the Rockies starting rotation this season.
“I am not a very vocal, outspoken person,” he said.
“I like to try to do things the right way. We (Rockies pitchers) try to have healthy competitions. There are going to be games if I do great, that’s great because I know (German) Marquez and (Kyle) Freeland, those guys are going to try to do even better. I think that’s going to push us pretty far.”