Gray goes on IL with elbow strain; Adon to start tonight

SAN FRANCISCO – Josiah Gray is going on the injured list and won’t make his scheduled start tonight against the Giants.

The Nationals announced today Gray was placed on the 15-day IL with what the club termed a right elbow/forearm flexor strain. Joan Adon will start in his place tonight at Oracle Park.

The severity of Gray’s injury isn’t clear yet, but the Nats were concerned enough to have Adon join them in San Francisco on Monday as part of the taxi squad they’re allowed to carry during road trips. The 25-year-old right-hander opened his season at Triple-A Rochester, allowing four runs (two earned) in 2 1/3 innings 11 days ago. He hasn’t pitched since.

Gray was named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter for the first time this spring but struggled in each of his first two outings, allowing a total of 13 runs and 15 hits in 8 1/3 innings against the Reds and Pirates. He last pitched April 4, but IL moves are allowed to be backdated only three days, so he officially goes on the IL as of April 6.

This is the first time Gray has gone on the IL in a major league career that began in 2021 with the Dodgers. Despite his at-times erratic performances since joining the Nationals that summer, his durability has never come into question.

Gray made 28 starts in 2022, the team limiting his workload down the stretch out of caution, not because of injury. He made 30 starts last season, reaching 159 innings pitched while going 8-13 with a 3.91 ERA and earning his first All-Star selection.

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