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Gray May Not Start on Opening Day

Following the signing of Sonny Gray during the offseason, it was expected that the veteran pitcher would be the Opening Day starter when the St. Louis Cardinals face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals went ahead and made it official only recently. Right now, the team might need to look into making a backup plan as Gray left a Spring Training game on Monday during the second inning with a tightness in his hamstring. That’s the official word from the club—the team will probably know something more soon if they don’t already. The sad part about it is that Gray took care of the Washington Nationals in first inning with only four pitches. He was only scheduled to throw three innings and was two-thirds of the way through the second inning when he grabbed his hamstring.

This isn’t the first time that Gray has had to deal with issues with his hamstring. It led to two different IL stints in 2022 and an early finish to his 2023 season. One can only hope that Gray can speedily recover and that this will be the last of his hamstring issues in 2024.

Because of the setback, it is looking very unlikely that the All-Star pitcher will be ready in time for Opening Day. This may be unfortunate, but it is not the end of the world for Cardinals fans. The Cardinals will have to depend on their pitching until Gray returns to form but the team can still make a solid run at the postseason. At worst, the club can always look to the free agent market. There are some options out there among unsigned free agents—a few of which are represented by Scott Boras. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold, the team did not contact Boras about any of his clients, which include Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery.

The Cardinals made a few announcements on Tuesday. They’ve reduced the Spring Training roster to 58 plays by re-assigning 10 players to the club’s minor league camp. Re-assigned non-roster players include pitchers Andre Granillo, Tink Hence, Packy Naughton, Max Rajcic, Victor Santos and Logan Sawyer, catchers Leonardo Bernal, Sammy Hernandez and Carlos Linárez, and outfielder Moisés Gómez.

Another piece of news is that Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was named as the winner of this year’s Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The award is annually presented by the Oxford, Ohio-based Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity. They present the annual award to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Gehrig had been a member of the Columbia University chapter. They first presented the award back in 1955 and its permanent home is at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

In winning the award, Goldschmidt becomes the seventh Cardinals player to do so. Previous Cardinals winners include Stan Musial (1957), Ken Boyer (1964), Lou Brock (1977), Ozzie Smith (1989), Mark McGwire (1999), and Albert Pujols (2009). While his win marks the first Cardinals player in 15 years, it’s interesting to note that the 2010s were the only decade in which no Cardinals player won the award.

For fans interested in attending, the formal presentation will take place prior to the Cardinals facing off against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, June 11. During the presentation, both Goldschmidt and the Cardinals will also present a special gift from the Live Like Lou Foundation and Permobil Foundation to an individual battling ALS in the community.


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