3 impressive Cardinals standouts in this season so far
Contreras has been the man to watch so far this season as he has the massive task of taking over the starting catcher role after the retirement of Yadier Molina, who'd filled the position for nearly two decades.
Contreras was delegated to play designated hitter at the beginning of the month to learn the inner workings of being a catcher via the Cardinal Way. Contreras handled the controversy of how the matter was handled by management professionally. After a week, he returned to the starting catcher's role. He subsequently caught the best game thrown by Jack Flaherty in two seasons. On May 15, he pitched seven innings, giving up three hits and no runs while striking out ten batters. Flaherty was quick to credit Contreras for helping him through the outing.
Contreras was also seen as a significant offensive improvement at the catching position. He's hitting .237/.321/.393 with an OPS of .714. He's had 41 hits, 21 runs, 12 doubles, five home runs, 25 RBI, and four stolen bases.
The energy and enthusiasm Contreras brings to the Cardinals clubhouse have been fantastic to watch. The Cardinals typically quietly go about their business, so it's fun to see a player with enthusiasm express it and it seems to be a nice change of pace for the team. Hopefully, Contreras keeps that fire burning. It will be so important down the stretch.