The Nationals' Josiah Gray is the latest MLB pitcher to suffer a serious arm injury


The epidemic of serious arm injuries among pitchers in Major League Baseball continues. The latest to suffer a serious elbow injury is Washington Nationals right-hander Josiah Gray.

The Nationals announced Tuesday that Gray has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to a right elbow/forearm flexor strain. He was scheduled to start for Washington on Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants. Right-hander Joan Adon was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his place.

In two starts this season, Gray struck out nine batters in 8 1/3 innings but allowed 13 runs and 15 hits. Last year, he finished with an 8-13 record, a 3.91 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 159 innings. Gray also allowed 22 home runs and 80 walks in his second full major league season. He was Washington's only All-Star representative.

The 26-year-old was a top prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a key piece with catcher Keibert Ruiz in the 2021 trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. With a 4.80 ERA in four seasons with the Nationals, Gray is eligible for arbitration next year.

He joins a list of celebrated pitchers who have suffered arm injuries this year, including Yankees star Gerrit Cole, the Braves' Spencer Strider and the Astros' Framber Valdez. Guardians star Shane Bieber, Lucas Giolito of the Red Sox and Eury Perez of the Marlins have already undergone or will require Tommy John reconstructive surgery on their damaged elbows.

Many factors are taken into account in this epidemic of pitching injuries, including players throwing harder than ever and gripping the ball tighter to increase spin rate. The MLB Players Association blamed the pitch clock the league implemented last season. But Bieber isn't sure if that should be cited as the cause.