Carpet sweeper

Rangers opening day starter Jon Gray explains why he added a ‘sweeper’ to his pitch repertoire

Jon Grey, Rangers opening day starter joined the K&C masterpiece on105.3 The fan [KRLD-FM] to discuss his new pitch, technology to eliminate sign theft and his love of chocolate milk.

Here are the highlights of that conversation, edited for clarity:

What was your reaction when you received confirmation that you were starting on opening day?

Jon Grey: “It’s been a total blessing, especially the way things have been with me in the past. I haven’t had an opening day since 2018. Really having the ball and being that guy is going to be a lot of fun. It is a great blessing in my life.

What is a sweeper and how is it different from other terrains?

Gray: “It’s different from my normal slider but it’s a bit similar too. It has a bit more of a horizontal motion pattern on it. If I use it correctly I’ll be able to limit the number of foul balls hit and to get that sucker off the plate quickly, so I think that’s going to help get the swing and the misses.

Where do you see the future for pitchers and catchers with the new technology available?

Gray: “First of all it’s a shame we have to do this, but I was able to use the earpiece in a bullpen session last week, but I really like it. It takes out some of the extra stuff pitchers have to worry about now and just focus on pitching, which is what we’re doing.

“Hopefully we can get things done, but I think it would be a win for the pitchers. It seems that changes in baseball always seem to go in favor of hitters, so if we could get that one thing right, that would be great.

What does the earpiece say and what does it sound like?

Gray: “What I heard was mostly the tone and the location, but I didn’t like the voice too much. I kind of wanted a new voice. I wanted something that sounded a bit meaner and more like “let’s go!” It’s like a male Siri or something. It’s a little different. I think we should hear Batman’s voice in there or something.

Mitch Garver is working on a deal for get a beer named after him. If you could have a product bearing your name, what would it be?

Gray: “I’m not a big drinker, I drink a beer from time to time. But I’ve always hammered chocolate milk. I think I would be a chocolate milk guy.

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