Nationals Young Starter Tinkers With Pitch Mix Over Offseason

Washington Nationals starter Josiah Gray had a strong outing against the New York Mets in his first start of the spring training season.

While he only threw nine pitches, Gray showcased his newly added cutter, a pitch he worked on during the off-season to bolster his arsenal.

Gray used the pitch effectively against the Mets, striking out Mark Canha with it after the batter initially fouled it off.

Canha reportedly look confused after the first cutter, unaware that Gray had developed it over the offseason.

The twenty-five year-old's fastball also showed improved velocity, clocking in at 96.5 and 95.7 mph, compared to his 94.4 mph average from last year. His slider was also faster, averaging 4.4 mph faster than his previous season's average of 85.8 mph, with his slowest slider registering at 89.5 mph.

Despite his struggles in his first 219.1 innings in the big leagues, Gray's strong strikeout rates offer promise for his development as a pitcher, but he still has much to prove. 

For Gray, spring training is a balance of refining his pitches while not revealing too much to division rivals like the Mets, who are now aware of his new cutter. Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports