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Astros trade speculation: Sonny Gray is a worthy reclamation project

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Sonny Gray #55 of the New York Yankees reacts in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on August 1, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 01: Sonny Gray #55 of the New York Yankees reacts in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on August 1, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 11: Sonny Gray #55 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 11: Sonny Gray #55 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

A change of scenery is sometimes warranted

While Gray’s 3.72 ERA and 4.87 FIP in 2017 with the Yankees wasn’t great, he wasn’t outright dreadful either. But the results of his 2018 season didn’t improve his standing with New York. No one in New York will embrace a starting pitcher with a 6.98 ERA at Yankee Stadium. However, his road splits was actually, do I dare say, good.

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

In his 15 appearances away from Yankee Stadium this year, Gray looked like a much better pitcher. In fact, he looked like his old self from when he pitched for Oakland. I can’t help but wonder if the opinion of him in New York would be different if the home and road splits were flipped. While it is irresponsible to construe whether Gray did or didn’t like pitching in Yankee Stadium based on the splits, interested front offices may see something there buried deeper than the surface level stats here.

There are instances player and a team doesn’t gel like everyone expected. On paper, Gray and the Yankees looked like a perfect match on paper. The Yankees have a quality analytics department themselves, so you know the home and road splits are something that they’ve noticed. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that is needed. A new atmosphere, fresh voices, and perhaps a different approach.

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