Quite the Enigma: Sonny Gray

In all my years of watching sports, I still don’t really understand why professional athletes struggle with consistency.

Yes, I’m obviously not a professional athlete, and yes, I probably have no clue what I am talking about, but hear me out. As a Yankees’ fan, it has been really hard for me to get fully on board the Sonny Gray train.

When Gray, 28, was a member of the Oakland Athletics, he was absolutely nasty. Sure, Oakland is obviously a small market ball club with absolutely no pressure on them to do anything, but nevertheless, every time Gray was on the hill, he got the job done.

Since the Yanks acquired Gray last season, however, he has been Jekyll and Hyde. It is driving me absolutely nuts.

When I first heard that the team got him in a trade, I was ecstatic and figured that it would put the puzzling rotation in a good spot. Boy, was I wrong.

He was sub-par in the games he pitched for the team last season (4-7 with a 3.72 ERA) and if you can believe it, he’s worse this season with an ERA of over 5. Yes, he’s pitched very well in his last three starts, but his whole body of work with the Yankees has been quite bad.

What’s extremely frustrating is that he is so much better than this. He has great stuff, has the ability to put away batters, and has shown that he can pitch absolute gems.

The unfortunate thing for the Yankees and their fans is that these particular performances are few and far between. This is considering that the team’s rotation is mediocre at best.

In their 7-2 win over the lousy Kansas City Royals on July 26, Gray got hurt when his hand got hit by a comebacker. While it is nice to think about having him miss a few starts (that won’t happen as Gray said he expects to make his next start), this comes at a bad time for both Gray and the Yanks.

Believe it or not, Gray had his third straight good start for his ball club. He has gotten his ERA down, has given his team every chance to win, and has actually looked more comfortable on the mound.

Again, all very frustrating as you never know what you are going to get out of Gray. A very big part of me wants to him succeed in New York. He’s still young, has a lot of talent, and is just heading into his prime.

Unfortunately, I think there is a possibility that he could end up like A.J. Burnett or Jeff Weaver and flame out when he could have been so much more.


Photo: NYPost.com

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