Nationals starter Josiah Gray hits injured list with right elbow/forearm flexor strain

SAN FRANCISCO — Washington Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray landed on the 15-day injured list Tuesday with strained right elbow and forearm flexor muscles. This decision is retroactive to Saturday.

The Nationals recalled right-hander Joan Adon from Class AAA Rochester. He is expected to start in place of Gray against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

It will be the first major league injury list entry for Gray, 26, who was Washington’s Opening Day starter. His only other stint on the IL came in 2021, when he was a minor leaguer in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.

Gray entered the year hoping to build on a season in which he earned his first All-Star appearance but struggled in the second half. He got off to a rough start against the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, when he allowed seven runs in four innings. In his most recent start, Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he allowed six runs in 4⅓ innings. Gray is 0-2 with a 14.04 ERA. An injury could explain his difficult start.

Gray joins a growing list of pitchers dealing with arm injuries. In the National League East alone, Atlanta Braves right-hander Spencer Strider is on the IL and Miami Marlins right-hander Eury Pérez was scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery this week. New York Mets right-hander Kodai Senga was sidelined with a good cap strain.

There’s also Cleveland Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner, who needs surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. New York Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is rehabbing in hopes of a return from nerve inflammation in his right elbow. Houston Astros left-hander Framber Valdez felt soreness in his left elbow this week.

A long-term injury to Gray would be a major blow to the Nationals, whose young arms are a key part of their rebuild. Washington is already without Cade Cavalli, who made his major league debut in August 2022. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2023 and has yet to face real hitters.

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