Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 3.0: How roster looks after multiple injuries

The injury bug has bitten the Cardinals hard the last week, and now their Opening Day lineup has some major shakeups.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Rotation (5) - Miles Mikolas, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Steven Matz, and Zack Thompson

Sonny Gray's hamstring injury was never a major thing to begin with, but in recent days, it's seemed even better than what John Mozeliak initially shared with the media. Even so, I'll still operate under the scenario that Gray misses Opening Day, and instead, the Cardinals need to run with someone else in the rotation in his absence.

The winner of that competition in my mind would be Zack Thompson, who's looked solid in his five innings of work so far this spring. Out of the Cardinals' current depth options for the rotation, Thompson had the most success in the rotation last year, so that combined with his performance this spring should put him at the front of the line.

Matthew Liberatore has been solid as well, but he has struggled any time he's been in the Major League rotation. He still has the potential to be a starter in this league, but right now, I'd place my bets on Thompson getting the first crack at things.

Miles Mikolas would likely be the Opening Day starter, with the rest of the rotation mixing behind him in any order. This is a significantly weaker group without Gray at the top, but it's still an improvement over the rotation they had last year overall. Steven Matz and the tag team of Jake Woodford and Adam Wainwright were horrible to begin the year, so even guys producing ERAs in the low to mid 4.00 range would stabilize innings for them while they wait for Gray to be back.

Still, Gray's injury shows just how fragile this rotation is, and the Cardinals would be wise to pursue a second frontline starter, whether through trade or free agency, to pair with Gray as soon as possible.

Just missed: Matthew Liberatore and Drew Rom