News: 17 hours agoGray will be the Reds' Opening Day starter Friday, July 24 against the Tigers, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Spin: Gray gets a nice matchup to begin the season against the Tigers and then will be followed by Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: While the narrative is that Gray was able to resurrect his career after leaving the Bronx, the more likely impetus for his post-Yankees success was a reunion with Derek Johnson, the Reds' pitching coach and Gray's college mentor. The two worked on Gray's mechanics, leading to increased spin on his four-seamer, slider and curve. Gray's K% went up 7 percentage points but his swinging-strike mark barely improved, suggesting more called strikes. Crisper stuff with a varied pitch mix could fool hitters, but it's unclear how repeatable those results will be. Gray's solid ratio baseline is safe, but how much of his K% gain he maintains is unclear. That said, in addition to Johnson, the Reds hired Driveline Baseball founder Kyle Boddy as a consultant. Boddy will work mostly with the younger arms, but his presence increases the likelihood that Gray maintains his newfound strikeout prowess.