A large catcher worth 115.5 billion won lost his place and is wandering. After Yadier Molina’s retirement, Wilson Contreras, who was chosen as St. Louis’ new catcher, started the game as a designated hitter, not catcher, for the third game since the 5th (local time). It is because a month has passed since the opening of the season, but he is still unable to properly coordinate with the pitching staff.
St. Louis’ top task last offseason was to find a successor to Molina, who was in charge of the team’s catcher position for 19 years before retiring last year. When it came to acquiring Wilson Contreras from the Chicago Cubs for a total of 87.5 million dollars over 5 years (approximately 115.5 billion won), it seemed that they had made the best choice. He was praised for his outstanding hitting and decent framing ability.
However, so far this season, the relationship between Contreras and St. Louis pitchers has not been very good. By the 7th, the average ERA of St. Louis starters was 5.38, the 7th highest among all 30 clubs. The starting batting average of 0.290 is the worst after Cincinnati (0.306) and Oakland (0.298). The Athletic pointed out that the results, especially after the second strike, were not good. St. Louis pitchers have allowed 20 homers after two strikes. As the mound collapsed, St. Louis, who ranked first in the Central Division of the National League last season, fell to the bottom of the division with 11 wins and 24 losses as of the 7th.
It is not appropriate to place the blame solely on the catcher for the poor performance of the pitchers. However, it is also true that the responsibility of the St. Louis catcher is greater than that of any other team catcher. St. Louis does not dictate bowling in the dugout. For the past 19 years Molina has been behind home plate, he hasn’t had to.
In the last three games on the 5th, 6th and 7th, St. Louis sent backup Andrew Kisner as the starting catcher, not Contreras. Contreras played as the designated hitter. “It’s definitely not that he keeps losing games because of Contreras,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “There are a lot of things he needs to learn. It’s hard for a player from another team to learn all that,” he told The Athletic. It’s a bit of an admission that Contreras is still having trouble penetrating the team’s pitchers and giving them a timely lead. 메이저놀이터
St. Louis plans to use Contreras as a designated hitter and outfielder for the time being. From the club’s point of view, neither is a plan that I like very much. Fixing Contreras as the designated hitter prevents lineup flexibility. The defense is uneasy to use as an outfielder. The last time Contreras saw an outfielder was one game in left field in the 2021 season. The opportunities for existing outfielders to play are also limited. Above all, if you are not a catcher, there is no reason to give Contreras such a large amount of money.
When will Contreras be able to regain his position as catcher? Depending on the outcome, not only this year, but also St. Louis’ plans for the next five years may be distorted.