Sonny Gray’s Tremendous Start

Sonny Gray
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Sonny Gray has gotten off to a tremendous start for the Minnesota Twins in 2023. Right now, it has everyone saying he is back to his dominating form. After shutting down the Kansas City Royals with six impressive innings this past Sunday, Gray is 4–0 with an MLB-leading ERA of 0.77. He also became the first pitcher ever to go 9–0 in nine consecutive starts against the Royals.

All Pitches Working

Gray is a veteran and has been around the league for a while, but his variety of pitches and elite movement on them this year has allowed him to succeed more than ever. He has been mixing all of his pitches and its confusing hitters. His curve, cutter, and sinker have been controlling. His four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup have been commanding around the strike zone as well. Gray has yet to give up a home run. He once again looks confident on the mound, and he has thrown at least five innings per game, and allowed one run or fewer in each of his six starts.

Happy to be Healthy

Sonny Gray’s tremendous start can be attributed in part to the fact that he’s healthy. When he was on the mound last season, he was highly effective. However, he only made 24 starts due to nagging injuries. He was limited to just 120 innings due to hamstring issues. Those issues put him on the IL on multiple occasions including the final three weeks of the season.

Twins Need Him

This season the Twins’ coaching staff not only needs him stay healthy for the full season, but also to pitch longer into games. Coming into this season, the question remains whether or not he can remain healthy.

The Twins really do not have an ace pitcher. However, with Pablo Lopez as the number one starter and Gray considered a one-A starter, the Twins have two stop-gap pitchers. They also need Gray’s veteran leadership to mentor the other pitchers through the tough rigors of being a major league pitcher.

Tremendous Start

Sonny Gray’s tremendous start shows that if the first month is any indication of what 2023 might be, he could be just what the Twins need. We know he has found a way to continue being a productive pitcher when healthy. This season Gray wants to pitch longer into games, and stay healthy for a full season. His strikeout rate is close to his career best. Even better, he looks ready to continue this for a full season.

Twins Rotation

The Twins rotation of Joe Ryan Lopez and Gray are off to a fantastic start with all exceeding expectations right now. The Twins want a post season and, so far, it appears they have a good shot. The Chicago White Sox are focused on cutting payroll. The Cleveland Guardians have a young roster that surprised everyone last season, but the question is whether they can do it again.

The Twins are currently the best team in the AL Central. With Gary and the other starters pitching well, they need to avoid the collapse that marred their 2022 season. If they can all stay healthy, this team could see themselves with that post-season spot. Gray’s tremendous start just might be the thing that leads them there.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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