Sonny Gray will get the chance to end his frustrating season — interrupted by a pair of stints on the disabled list — on a positive note.
Manager Boby Melvin announced that Gray — out since Aug. 6 with a strained right forearm — will start for the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels. The outing will be a brief one, with left-hander Ross Detwiler slated to follow Gray after an inning or two.
“We’ll see what we come up with as far as the pitch count goes.” Melvin said. “If it’s hypothetically 30, then depending on how many pitches he throws in the first, he could potentially pitch the second.”
Melvin believes that even though the start will be abbreviated, it will provide a mental boost to Gray as he enters the offseason.
“Get out on the mound and get after it and know you’re healthy going into next season is what we’re really looking for,” Melvin said. “I mean, he passed all the hurdle physically to where do you just keep throwing bullpens or do you let him get into a game? And I know he’s eager to get into a game.”
—Melvin also shared his thought on Miami Marlins right-hander José Fernandez, who died early Sunday morning in a boating accident in Miami Beach.
“It’s startling. This is one of the great talents, great entertainers in the game,” Melvin said. “And I don’t know him personally, but there are going to be heavy hearts around baseball today. The impact that he had — whether it was on his teammates or fans — you could just feel it, sense it.
“He was not only, like a I said, a great performer, but an entertainer too,” Melvin added. “You could tell he loved to be out there and loved to pitch. You really pull hard for guys who really enjoy the game. He did that immensely.”