The Cardinals' cracks are beginning to show after Sonny Gray injury

Another year of gambling with talent upside is proving to become a trend of failure with the current front office with major questions going forward.
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals ace Sonny Gray has only appeared in 3.2 innings during Spring Training and is already hitting the trainer's table with a reported strained hamstring injury. The future of his season should not be of concern, as it appears this is not a significant injury. But this injury shows yet again that the current front office continues to use old practices that have not worked.

Gray is a veteran pitcher who is being tasked to be the frontline ace of the Cardinals rotation. The last time he was the frontline ace of the pitching staff was when he was in Oakland and was assigned the role of ace by default. You can claim he was the ace of the Twins last season, but Pablo Lopez will make a great argument as to why he reigns in Minnesota. Gray is deserving of the top rotation spot, but with only a third of a game pitched resulting in injury, what confidence does that provide to the remaining staff?

The front office is feeding the idea of veteran presence into the mouths of Cardinals Nation. With the idea of bulk innings from longtime experienced players, they believe this is the solution to the cracked foundation of the pitching depth chart. But when your bonafide ace goes down this early, is age really on your side? Fans have been concerned all off-season about what will happen when the innings on these arms catch up to the aged staff and they start to wind down really quickly. How sustainable will this rotation be come Early August?

The Cardinals have available options left in case Gray is out for a significant timeframe. Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery can provide high-quality performances to help carry the staff, but the Cardinals seem to be satisfied with their current roster construction. Even with damage control, the cost-affordable internal options are valued as better options than what is available on the open market. Will the depth pieces in Memphis be enough to help keep the staff afloat if Lance Lynn or Kyle Gibson miss time during the season due to their age and potential injuries from all their innings pitched?

Sonny Gray will be fine and the Cardinals will be fine going into Opening Day. He is very elite and the team as a whole should still be carrying loads of confidence on their shoulders. But this early injury should be an eye-popping moment for the front office. They are rolling their dice yet again on potential from their staff versus providing certainty to the team. This will either work in their favor and have the Cardinals back to playoff contention, or this will backfire and the true cracks of the team's foundation will be fully shown.