Jeff Gray and the absurdity of pitcher “wins”

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Twins reliever Jeff Gray is a 30-year-old journeyman who, as of yesterday afternoon, had one career victory as a big leaguer. Now he has three career victories and how he got there is hilarious.

Last night Gray entered the game with two outs in the seventh inning and the Twins down 5-3. He retired Peter Bourjos to end the frame and then Minnesota scored three runs in the next half-inning, making Gray the pitcher of record and giving him a win for throwing exactly one pitch.

This afternoon Gray entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning and the Twins down 7-6. He retired Howie Kendrick to end the frame and then Minnesota scored four runs in the next half-inning. Gray once again got the win, although this time he threw two pitches instead of one.

So, in the span of about 18 hours Gray went from one career win to three career wins, all while facing two hitters and throwing a grand total of three pitches. Obviously he just knows how to win.

Angels place Andrew Heaney on 10-day injured list

Andrew Heaney
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The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.

It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.

Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.

In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.