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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Cardinals make tough Sonny Gray decision amid hamstring injury

The Cardinals are thrilled to have a new ace in Sonny Gray, but it sounds like they are going to have to wait a little longer for him to make his official debut.

The St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that their campaign in 2024 ends up going better than it did in 2023, and a big reason for optimism is their new ace Sonny Gray, who they signed to a three-year, $75 million contract over the offseason. However, it sounds like fans may have to wait a little bit longer to see Gray make his official debut with the team thanks to a lingering hamstring injury.

Gray last pitched in a Spring Training game back on March 4th, and with the injury not healing as expected, the team officially announced that their prized free agent acquisition will have to start the season on the injured list. Gray will make three rehab starts in Florida before he is able to make his way to the major league squad, so it sounds like he could be out for another few weeks with the ailment.

“Cardinals’ right-hander Sonny Gray said that missing game action for almost three weeks is the primary reason why he will open the regular season on the 15-day injured list. Rather than breaking camp with the Cardinals as they face a daunting opening against the star-studded Dodgers in Los Angeles, Gray will remain in Florida for much of the next two weeks while he makes three rehab starts.” – John Denton, MLB.com

Cardinals hoping Sonny Gray can return from injury sooner rather than later

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at CACTI Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis entered the offseason knowing that they needed help in their starting rotation, which led to them going out and splurging on Gray. It’s not too hard to see why they handed Gray such a big contract even though he’s now 34 years old, as he was dominant in 2023 with the Minnesota Twins (8-8, 2.79 ERA, 183 K, 1.15 WHIP) and ended up finishing second in the American League Cy Young race.

The hope for the Cardinals was obviously that Gray would come in and lead their rotation from the front. While the starting rotation has some good depth options behind Gray, he is the ace that the team missed last season. But now, the Cards are going to be picking up right where they left off in 2023 when they take the field for Opening Day this year.

Gray’s injury shouldn’t cause him to miss a ton of time, but being without him for the start of the regular season isn’t exactly a great sign. While he’s on the mend, Miles Mikolas is going to have to step up and lead the rotation for the time being, with other free agent signings Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson also needing to chip in too.

Considering how the season hasn’t even started yet, it’s best that Gray gets himself fully healthy so that he can help the Cardinals throughout the course of their campaign, but their rotation depth is going to be tested right out of the gate. St. Louis is going to take it slow with their shiny new ace, but it’s clear that the sooner he can return to action, the better off this team will be.

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About the Author

Owen Crisafulli is a Senior Editor and NFL Lead at ClutchPoints. He recently received his Masters in Business Administration from Nichols College. Previously, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and for a while ran his own sports website. Sports are his passion, and he thoroughly enjoys writing about thoughts and opinions that are related to the game. He has been a lifelong fan of the major professional teams in Boston and loves discussing all topics surrounding those teams.

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