Yanks move Gray to bullpen, put Lynn in rotation
Cashman said Gray’s struggles forced the team’s hand and hinted that his days as a starter in New York are over.
“Sonny Gray is a very good major league pitcher we just haven’t had the opportunity to really see that play out over an extended period of time,” Cashman said during an appearance on the Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York. “I know that if he winds up somewhere else pitching, he’s going to be pitching extremely well, because the equipment is all there, the stuff is all there, (but) consistently it’s not playing out right here.”
Asked if he tried to move Gray leading up to baseball’s trade deadline, Cashman said the offers “weren’t good enough.”
Manager Aaron Boone had indicated Wednesday that Gray’s rotation spot was at risk after he allowed a career-high-tying seven runs, eight hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings against the Orioles, as his ERA rose to 5.56.
Gray is 12-15 with a 4.85 ERA since he was acquired from Oakland at last year’s trade deadline. His ERA this year is 7.71 at Yankee Stadium and 3.62 on the road.
“I’ve struggled. I don’t know if it has anything to do with New York or it’s just strictly on the field,” he said.
With the Yankees staring at a 7-1 deficit when Gray was taken out of Wednesday’s game, Lynn came in and threw 4⅓ innings of solid scoreless relief. He allowed just five hits and had five strikeouts.
Before Lynn made his Yankees debut after his trade from Minnesota, though, Gray drew the fans’ ire as he flashed a grin as boos echoed throughout the stadium.
“That’s how I handle things. I’ve done that my whole life,” Gray said of the smile. “When you get put in a hole like that as a team, as many times as I’ve done that to us this year, it’s a frustrating spot to be in. That’s kind of how I handled the situation. It’s kind of how I tell myself to move on and not think about it and not let [bad performances] get to you.”
Cashman said Thursday that the Yankees expected more from Gray this season and the pitcher did, too.
“As I said, the more frustrating is the fact that he had turned the corner until yesterday,” Cashman said. “And so it is what it is. We just have to continue to make tough decisions. Some of them become more obvious (than others).”
Information from ESPN’s Coley Harvey was used in this report.