5 reasons to be excited about the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023
2. The changing of the guard at catcher
The Cardinals had a gaping hole behind the plate after 19-year veteran Molina called it a career. The front office sprang into action in the offseason, inking former Chicago Cub Willson Contreras to a five-year, $87.5 million contract. Contreras should provide a spark at the plate not seen since Molina's prime years, although opinions on his defense are mixed.
While stolen bases aren't a big part of the game these days, fans will still have to get used to more teams attempting to steal against the Cardinals. In a stat well known to fans, the Cardinals allowed by far the fewest stolen bases of any team during Molina's tenure. With another catcher and larger bases, basestealing attempts will likely rise drastically. The Cardinals hope that Contreras' bat will mitigate that drawback.
It will take some time for fans to adjust to not having Molina behind the plate, but Contreras seemed excited to take the reins. He should be able to adjust to a new pitching staff, and games against the Cubs should have some renewed tension between the two fanbases now that the Cubs' former catching cornerstone wears the birds on the bat.