I am letting the hype train fully take me away with this one, as Josiah Gray has been phenomenal this spring. Yes, I know he had a rough 2022 season, but the bright side is that he stayed healthy at a time where the Nationals cannot seem to catch a break in that department, especially with their pitching. His health has allowed him to enter this offseason able to solely focus on tweaks and improvements as opposed to a full-blown rehabilitation. Insert a cutter and a changeup, and Gray looks like a completely new pitcher this spring.
Like Abrams, we don't want to put too many lofty expectations on Gray before he has even established himself at the major league level, but it would be great to see him wearing the red, white and blue for Team USA. Many of the top pitchers in baseball opt out of the World Baseball Classic due to the time of year so as not to interfere with their ramp up to the start of the major league season. While MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is pushing for more top tier talent in the next World Baseball Classic, if the trend continues and top pitchers opt out, it would make it easier for the next tier of pitchers and a player like Josiah Gray to make the roster. Former Nationals' representatives Ross Detwiler and Tanner Roark were not necessarily Cy Young candidates and were still invited to join Team USA, and Roark was on the 2017 team that won the World Baseball Classic.
Nationals fans have been blessed over the years with top tier pitching in their starting rotation and we are hoping Josiah Gray becomes the latest in a long line of those pitchers. If all goes well, he will be, and he may not even be alone in representing the Nationals' pitching staff...