What to expect from Sonny Gray today as he makes his official Cardinals debut

The Cardinals are getting some major reinforcements this week. One of them is Sonny Gray, who will come off the injured list on Tuesday and make his official Cardinals debut.
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Cardinals are getting some major reinforcements this week.

While Tommy Edman and Matt Carpenter may still be a while, Lars Nootbaar should be back, and Sonny Gray will make his official Cardinals debut on Tuesday night with the Phillies in town.

Gray's debut is highly anticipated, as he was the Cardinals' big-ticket free agent signing and will now serve as the team's ace.

Unfortunately, he strained his hamstring in spring training and was forced to begin the season on the injured list. But now, he is set to return.

Fans are going to be excited to see him pitch and help turn the Cardinals around after a dreadful 2023 season. In this piece, we'll discuss what to expect out of Gray tomorrow night.

What to expect out of Gray in Cardinals debut

I think I speak for everybody when I say I am extremely pumped to see Gray pitch. For the first time since Adam Wainwright's heyday, the Cardinals have a legitimate ace who can give them a chance to win in playoff games. While the rest of the rotation leaves a lot to be desired, you have to start somewhere.

What makes Gray so impressive is that he can eat innings and strike hitters out at a high rate. He averaged nine strikeouts per nine innings last year with the Twins. He also was second in the American League Cy Young race.

I think we can expect to see more strikeouts than the Cardinals rotation gave us last year, and that should help tremendously. Unfortunately, we probably won't see him eat too many innings tomorrow, as he is on a 65-pitch limit. I would imagine he doesn't go any deeper than five innings and that the Cardinals will have Zack Thompson on standby as a piggyback option.

More than anything else though, we're going to see a true competitor who relishes wearing the Birds on the Bat. I know that "he wanted to be here" has become somewhat of a running joke with the fanbase. But it's clear that he wants to win, and he even said that at the beginning of free agency, this is where he wanted to be.

He'll match up with Zack Wheeler, which should be exciting as the Cardinals try and get a little payback on the Phillies for the 2022 Wild Card Series.