This has been one of the most eventful Spring Training's in some time for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals had an exciting month in March. With several of their stars competing in the World Baseball Classic, young stars were able to make names for themselves with the fanbase and the organization.
Last season ended an era with the retirement of legends Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols. This season is a changing of the guard with the retirement season for Adam Wainwright and the coming of the organization's top prospect, Jordan Walker.
This season has incredibly high expectations and is already packed with intriguing storylines. Let's discuss the big stories of Spring Training and what that will mean for the long summer ahead.
5. Willson Contreras finds good fit with Cardinals
Cardinals president of baseball operation John Mozeliak's primary goal this offseason was to find and get the best option to replace Yadier Molina. While Molina was a legendary member of the Cardinals as their on-field captain, replacing him in that respect is impossible. But, the team did sign a great option in Willson Contreras.
Contreras is a noticeable upgrade in offense at the catching position. In Spring Training, he's hitting .343/.395/.429 with an OPS of .823. He's had 12 hits, three doubles, five RBI, two walks, and three stolen bases. He's struck out ten times, though. But he's getting on base and being productive when he does.
While there truly is no replacing Molina behind the plate, his new teammates have become comfortable with Contreras and appreciate the intensity he brings to the game now that he's on the Cardinals' side.
It will be good to see Contreras on the Cardinals' side. Seeing how he adjusts to playing for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium will be fun. How he handles his return to Wrigley Field will be important to see too. He has expressed joy that he's with the Cardinals and upset some Cubs fans as he's talked about being on the right side of the rivalry now.