Home News Willson Contreras catching again in quick Cardinals about-face

Willson Contreras catching again in quick Cardinals about-face

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The Cardinals are already moving off their strange plan for Willson Contreras.

On Saturday, St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol announced before their 4-3 win over the Red Sox that the catcher will return to his position on Monday night against the NL Central-leading Brewers in the opening game of a homestand.

“We felt really good about the progress that we’ve made, and it lines up really well for him to catch Monday,” Marmol told reporters.

The quick turnaround comes after the struggling Cardinals, whose 15-25 record entering Sunday was the worst in the National League, announced the 31-year-old was being moved off the catcher position on May 6 just a month into the season and he would be used as a DH or an outfielder.

The move was supposed to last for at least “several weeks,” Marmol previously said.

The decision raised eyebrows as the Cardinals gave Contreras a five-year, $87.5 million free-agent contract in December to replace their longtime catcher Yadier Molina, who retired.


The Cardinals are already moving Willson Contreras back to catcher.
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Willson Contreras celebrates after hitting an RBI-double against the Chicago Cubs on May 8.
Willson Contreras celebrates after hitting an RBI-double against the Chicago Cubs on May 8.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“We talked about it last night and I told him that I’m ready to catch,” Contreras said after Saturday’s victory.

“I’m not going to be just a DH because it’s really hard just to be a DH when I can be behind the plate,” he said. “I was just ready to catch.”

Contreras explained that Marmol came to him to ask if he was ready to return to his spot behind the plate.


Nolan Gorman and Willson Contreras celebrate after scoring on a throwing error by the Red Sox's Enrique Hernandez on May 13, 2023.
Nolan Gorman and Willson Contreras celebrate after scoring on a throwing error by the Red Sox’s Enrique Hernandez on May 13, 2023.
AP

“I don’t know if I was acting different, he read something in my body and went right to the point and said: ‘Are you ready to catch?’ and I said yes,” Contreras said.

Contreras will be catching for right-hander Jack Flaherty on Monday, who was the pitcher he last caught on May 4, and it will be another chance to prove he can deliver as advertised for the Cardinals.

Contreras is hitting .265/.344/.412 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and two stolen bases.

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