Cardinals' John Mozeliak gives a frustrating update on Sonny Gray's injury

John Mozeliak's update today on Sonny Gray was mostly good news, but his timeline for Opening Day is now in jeopardy.

Mar 4, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54)
Mar 4, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals faced a bit of a scare on Monday as newly signed ace Sonny Gray was removed from the game in the second inning after experiencing what the club called "hamstring tightness". Following an MRI on Sunday night, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak is calling the injury a "mild strain" and he may begin the season on the injured list.

Honestly, this is not surprising news considering where we are at in camp. It's great news that Gray's injury should not be a major issue, but it is going to setback his ability to ramp up for the regular season, hence why an injured list stint may be necessary.

This is not the first time in Gray's career that he has dealt with hamstring issues, as he landed on the injured list twice in 2022 due to that same problem.

However long Gray is out for, it appears that the Cardinals will likely lean on one of Zack Thompson or Matthew Liberatore to get them innings in his absence. Thompson seems to be the clear front-runner, as he's looked sharp this spring and posted a 4.57 ERA in the 9 starts he got with the Cardinals in 2023. Liberatore is a former top-100 prospect that the Cardinals still believe in, but his 5.88 ERA in 11 starts last year leaves a lot to be desired.

While it is good news that Gray should not miss significant time, his absence does illuminate further the huge issue the Cardinals run into when he's not in their rotation. The five-man group they wanted to bring into Opening Day was already risky to say the least, but that group becomes significantly weaker when there is no Gray to lead them.

To this point, the Cardinals do not appear interested in adding a free agent starter like Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery.

We'll continue to update this situation as more information is made available.