Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jon Gray is just the latest player to hit the injury list for the defending World Series champions.

Gray has been placed on the 15-day IL due to strained right groin, via Rangers PR. His IL stint will be retroactive to May 22.

Texas' starting rotation has been absolutely ravaged by injuries, as Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle, Nathan Eovaldi and now Gray are all sidelined.

Gray last pitched on Tuesday, going five innings and allowing two runs on four hits in a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He struck out four and walked three.

The 32-year-old has been enjoying a fine season for the Rangers, going 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA over 11 appearances and 10 starts. He has surrendered 51 hits while fanning 56 hitters across 57 innings of work. He has given up just two home runs and boasts an impressive 2.52 FIP.

This is now Gray's third season with Texas after spending the first seven years of his career with the Colorado Rockies.

He has certainly been more effective for the Rangers, registering ERAs of 3.96 and 4.12 over his first two seasons with the club, respectively. That came after Gray recorded a 4.59 ERA throughout his tenure with the Rockies.

The Rangers are staying afloat in spite of their injuries

Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray (22) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers went into Thursday's action with a record of 24-27, sitting three games behind the Seattle Mariners in the AL West. They were 21-16 at one point earlier in the month, but they have since gone just 3-9 to fall several games under .500.

While injuries to the starting rotation are obviously the primary reason for Texas' malaise, there have been other issues, as well.

First of all, Texas' offense has not been nearly as good as it was in 2023. Through the first two months or so of this season, the Rangers rank 11th in batting average, 14th in OPS, 13th in home runs and 10th in runs scores. By contrast, Texas ranked second in batting average and third in each of the latter three categories last year.

While those 2024 offensive numbers for the Rangers aren't terrible, they certainly aren't great, and they definitely aren't what you want when your team's pitching staff is absolutely decimated.

It's not just the offense, either.

Texas' bullpen has been absolutely miserable, ranking last in the majors with a 5.14 ERA. So, combine the Rangers missing tons of starting pitchers with the fact that their bullpen has also been atrocious, and you probably aren't going to win many games.

Still, thanks to playing in a very weak division, Texas has managed to stay alive and can potentially still make a run if it starts getting some of its key pitchers (like Scherzer) back in the rotation. It would obviously also help for batters like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to play up to their 2023 standards. Fortunately, there is still time for both of those players to turn it around, and Seager in particular has been hot lately.

We'll see if the Rangers are able to get back to the playoffs to defend their World Series title. They are definitely going to need much better injury luck in the coming months.