Reds: Sonny Gray’s 3rd trip to the injured list came at opportune time

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 02: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 02: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Sonny Gray is on the injured list for the third time this season. The Cincinnati Reds right-hander was placed on the 10-day IL with a right rib cage strain. The timing of the injury could not have worked out much better, as the two-time All-Star may not have to miss a start.

Gray pitched on Wednesday in Kansas City, but woke up not feeling like himself. Testing revealed the injured rib cage, and the Reds recalled rookie Tony Santillan. Gray will rehab back in Cincinnati and it’s expected that Santillan will work out of the bullpen.

This is the third time this season the Reds placed Sonny Gray on the IL.

Sonny Gray began the 2021 season on the 10-day injured list and returned to the team on April 17th. After 10 consecutive starts and a 3.42 ERA through June 8th, a second stint on the IL became necessary when the right-hander suffered a groin injury.

After missing nearly a month of action, Gray returned to the field on July 2nd. During his two outings this month, the Vanderbilt alum posted a 2.25 ERA and punched out 15 over 12 innings while walking just three batters.

This latest bump in the road, however, may not see Gray miss a start. With the All-Star break next week, Gray will be able to return next Sunday versus the Milwaukee Brewers if his rehab goes well. In fact, that’s Gray’s goal. Here’s what the 31-year-old had to say via

"“Where I sit right now, when my turn comes available, I feel like I’ll be able to play.”"

That’s certainly welcome news to the Cincinnati faithful who know they’ll need Sonny Gray healthy if their team hopes to run during the second half of the 2021 season. The Reds currently sit seven games back of the Brewers in the NL Central, but play six more games against the Beer Makers between now and next Sunday.

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There’s never a good time for one of your best players to incur an injury, but the timing couldn’t have worked out much better for Sonny Gray and the Cincinnati Reds. Even if he’s not ready by Sunday, Gray could return by Tuesday, July 20th and still not miss his turn in the rotation.