Willson Contreras is back behind the plate for the Cardinals following what Oli Marmol says was a collaborative effort.
Just weeks into his first season with St. Louis, it was announced that the Cardinals were going to stop having Contreras play catcher and serve as a full-time designated hitter. The Cardinals came under fire for the move by some, mainly because Contreras’ defensive shortcomings were well-documented before he signed.
Ultimately, Contreras went eight games without making an appearance at catcher, by backstopping Monday's thumping of the Brewers. Marmol was asked Wednesday in his weekly appearance on Total Information AM what he thought was most misunderstood about the decision.
“That it wasn’t a collaborative effort in taking a pause,” the Cardinals manager responded. “People have talked enough about it, quite frankly I’m tired of talking about it, Willson is tired of talking about it. But I think the biggest misunderstanding was that he was told rather than us coming together and saying hey, here’s what’s best moving forward for the next couple weeks in order to get you back behind there.
“Right now, I can tell you this. For our clubhouse, for Willson, for everybody, he handled it – I love this dude. When you talk about the initial press conference where he says my job is to make the other team hate me and make my teammates love me, we love this dude. I think that’s the biggest misunderstanding. When I say that everyone is on the same page and behind this guy and has his back, it’s not even close.”
The Cardinals ultimately went 6-2 in the eight games they played with Contreras exclusively at DH. His disruption of Kenley Jansen’s timing in Saturday’s comeback win ultimately helped spark a ninth-inning comeback, so he found ways to continue to contribute.
With St. Louis now on the upswing, the hope surely is that Contreras can contribute to more winning, in multiple areas of the game.
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