Willson Contreras will catch starter Jack Flaherty in his return to catching duties
It was just a week ago that the St. Louis Cardinals announced that catcher Willson Contreras would be removed from his role as the starting catcher, and would transition to being a DH/OF for the club indefinitely. On Saturday, May 13th, the club announced that Contreras would get behind the plate once again on Monday, May 15th.
When asked about this, Oli Marmol said: "We felt really good about the progress that we've made and it lines up really well for him to catch on Monday with Jack (Flaherty) on the mound.”
While it would be easy, and fair, to critique the Cardinals for this "back and forth" decision making on what to do with Contreras, it's hard not to just be happy for Contreras and glad that the club is giving him his role back as the catcher. While it's clear that Contreras has some things to work on when it comes to calling a game, the bigger issue for the Cardinals is the quality of their pitching, not who is calling the pitches.
Not only was it not going to solve their pitching woes to remove Contreras from catching, but it has actually created more issues for them when it comes to lineup construction. Although Andrew Knizner has been pretty good at the plate the last 14 games (.750 OPS), it has made it difficult to get bats like Juan Yepez, Alec Burleson, and Brendan Donovan into the lineup on a consistent basis.
Getting Contreras back behind the plate lengthens the lineup a ton, and at a time when their offense seems to finally be getting hot. The next few weeks are critical for the Cardinals if they want to turn their season around, and getting Contreras back as their primary catcher only increases those chances.