Yankees demote struggling starter Sonny Gray to the bullpen

It hasn’t been a great year for embattled New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray. But there is a bright side: when he pitches now, he won’t be expected to go more than one or two innings at a time. That’s because the Yankees have demoted him from the starting rotation and will have him pitch out of the bullpen going forward.

Lance Lynn, who the Yankees acquired on Monday, will take Gray’s spot in the rotation.

Gray was the Yankees 2017 non-waiver trade deadline acquisition. They got him from the Oakland Athletics, and he performed well for the Yankees down the stretch. In August and September of 2017, Gray had a 3.72 ERA over 11 starts.

Sonny Gray’s struggles in the rotation have earned him a ticket straight to the bullpen. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

But 2018 has been a much different story. Overall, he has a 5.56 ERA over 21 starts. While he’s turned in a few gems (he’s had two starts this year where he’s pitched eight full innings and given up one or fewer earned runs), many of his starts have been infuriatingly short and unsuccessful. He’s pitched more than six innings in less than half of his starts. And then there’s this gem of a stat.

Being the only pitcher in Yankees history to lay claim to that particular “accomplishment” probably isn’t a point of pride for Sonny Gray.

Gray talked to the press after the Yankees made the announcement, and he had a positive attitude about his situation.

Gray has a better attitude about his demotion from the rotation than some pitchers have about being removed from a game. He’s trying to make the best of a bad situation, and he deserves credit for that. He’s had a tough year on the mound, but he knows what he’s capable of. And so do the Yankees. It’s hard to imagine that Gray, who the Yankees traded three prospects for just a year ago, won’t get the chance to earn his starting job back next year.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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