Sonny Gray Demoted To Yankees Bullpen

Lance Lynn Will Take His Spot In Rotation

Carlin, Maggie & Bart
August 02, 2018 - 5:53 pm
Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

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By WFAN.com

Sonny Gray's struggles have landed him in the Yankees' bullpen.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN's Chris Carlin and Maggie Gray on Thursday that the right-hander will be used as a relief pitcher and the newly acquired Lance Lynn will take his place in the rotation.

Cashman said manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild met with Gray on Thursday at Fenway Park to break the news to him. The Yankees and Red Sox will begin a four-game series Thursday night.

"Sonny will be all hands on deck," Cashman said. "He could come back in the mix if necessary or hopefully pitch well when needed coming out of the pen."

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Gray is 8-8 this season with a 5.56 ERA. He allowed seven runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings in Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Orioles.

"It's frustrating obviously for all parties involved," Cashman said. "I thought he'd turned the corner for us in July alone. I'm looking at his numbers, and it's surprising because it just doesn't feel like what you've been seeing over the course of the year.

"It's obviously a tough environment when you're struggling, and all we can do is ask for him to continue to fight through it."

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"It's a little disappointing, but at the end of the day I know that in order to be a starting pitcher and on this team in the middle of penant race that you've got to perform," Gray told the YES Network. "And I need to do a better job on the field in order to stay in the role that I ultimately want to be in."

Boone said he stressed to Gray how important it is for the Yankees to have an effective long reliever.

"Because we don't really have that long man," Boone told WFAN. "And to be able to protect our pen, to pick us up on days, to try to keep us in games -- you never know when that game comes -- but it's an important role. So the message is for him to really go and get after it and continue to grind away. And hopefully this kind of little change of scenery, if you will, is something that can maybe spur him on and get him rolling a little bit where he can be a factor for us down the stretch as a bullpen piece, but who knows if something comes up again, possibly in the rotation?"

The Yankees acquired Lynn from the Twins on Monday in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and minor league pitcher Luis Rijo.

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