April 18, 2024

Sonny Gray, the Cardinals’ starting pitcher, left Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals with an unexplained ailment in the bottom of the second. The right-hander was supposed to start St. Louis’ season opener against the Dodgers on March 28.

However, those plans may have been put on hold.

Gray had made five outs before feeling pain after throwing only two pitches to Nats outfielder Nick Senzel. He was observed in the dugout with the Cardinals’ training staff, getting hydrated, and it was later reported that his hamstring was tight. He had only thrown 20 pitches up to that point.

Following the game, Sonny Gray declined to comment on his apparent injury, stating he wanted to wait to see how serious it was first.

His First Year in St. Louis Has Gotten Off to a Scary Start

Gray’s withdrawal from the mound caused an immediate fright for the Cardinals and their fans. Some first believed it was the worst-case scenario. That their newly signed free agent had finished his season before it began.

While this does not appear to be the case, there is a reason why the fans was frightened. After watching the Cardinals finish last in the National League Central last season, there is a lot of angst in Cardinal Nation in 2024. Their 71-91 season was followed by an offseason in which president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and general manager Monti Ossenfort went looking for pitching.

After finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting, the Twins signed the righty to a three-year, $75 million contract.

“Where I am in my career, I want to win,” Gray stated upon joining. “Walking in here this morning, you can see the history. It is there. The feeling is there. It’s a baseball town and a baseball city, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson were two of the team’s new starters. The trio of veterans was brought in to help shore up the pitching staff, which had a 4.79 ERA in 2023. They were to be joined by Cardinals veterans Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz.

Sonny Gray was regarded as the ace of the freshly created rotation. At least that was the plan.

 

Hidden Starting Pitcher Declines: Twins' Sonny Gray

When will We Know the Status of Sonny Gray?

Gray’s absence from the game is currently considered ‘precautionary’, and the Redbirds are expected to make an announcement about his status for the start of the season on Tuesday afternoon. He underwent an MRI shortly after exiting Monday’s game.

“As of Monday evening, the St. Louis Cardinals were awaiting results, discussion of Sonny Gray’s MRI,” wrote Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on his X page. “They’ll know more this morning when the pitcher arrives — but it’s a late arrival time for the team, a show-and-go for the game vs Gray’s former team, the Twins.”

However, St. Louis and its fans have reason to be concerned. Gray, 34, had a healthy season last year, but he was on the injured list three times in 2022. He has been sidelined three times due to identical injuries. So his history with hamstrings is a bit concerning.

 

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