Sonny Gray injury scare rips the bandaid off Cardinals lackluster offseason

Sonny Gray's injury shines a light on what was an underwhelming offseason for the Cardinals.

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

After last season's embarrassing performance, the St. Louis Cardinals had to make major moves this offseason if they planned on competing in the 2024 season. Their offense was mostly fine last season, but their pitching was among the worst in the league, and the rotation was a major reason why.

Knowing that the Cardinals had to add starting pitching, John Mozeilak made sure to get that done very quickly. The Cardinals were among the most aggressive teams early in the offseason, signing three starting pitchers by Thanksgiving. The problem is, two of the three were underwhelming.

Sonny Gray was a great addition and can lead the charge, but the Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn signings were underwhelming at best, especially when considering the fact that St. Louis has Steven Matz and Miles Mikolas as their other two starters. Right now the rotation feels like Gray and a bunch of innings-eating back-end starters. Eating innings is good, but when they allow four or five runs every time out how valuable is that?

Now that Sonny Gray is hurt, it really shines a light on how underwhelming the offseason turned out to be for St. Louis.

Cardinals could be in big trouble after latest Sonny Gray injury

Gray departed his start on Monday with what was later deemed as hamstring tightness. It could be worse, obviously, but there's certainly a chance Gray will have to begin the year on the IL. If that happens, the Cardinals might be in trouble.

Gray is the one starter St. Louis can rely on. Each of the other four members of their starting rotation has been good in the past, but three of the four struggled mightily in 2023, and the one who didn't, Matz, has been inconsistent and injury-prone throughout his career.

Gray was additionally a pitcher St. Louis could seemingly rely on to take the ball every fifth day as he's been relatively durable throughout his career. Without him, things look very shaky.

This could change, of course, if the Cardinals loosen the purse strings and sign one of Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery, but they've shown no willingness to do so this offseason. Perhaps this injury changes that. Their rotation looked questionable enough with Gray, and looks poised to be one of the league's worst if they begin the season without him and with no reinforcements.

The Cardinals have had all winter to add more quality to the rotation but they've chosen to not do so. That has already come back to bite them with their one big signing going down.