The first few months of Willson Contreras' time in St. Louis couldn't have gone worse, really. Always a bat-first catcher, the former Chicago Cubs backstop has struggled at the plate - and was even pulled from the team's catching rotation earlier in the year.
The reason why is truly unbelievable.
Cubs look like geniuses for moving on from Willson Contreras
According to Michael Kay, who calls games for the YES Network and ESPN, Contreras was calling pitches that pitchers didn't even have in their arsenal. Never known for his glovework, this would be a new low for the Venezuelan-born backstop - a three-time All-Star.
"I found out something, I was talking to a lot of the Cardinal people. The reason that they took Contreras out from behind the plate, he was calling pitches that the pitcher on the mound didn’t have… He would be calling for a cutter, for a pitcher that didn’t throw a cutter. The pitchers were going crazy.- Michael Kay
It's a tough look for a guy who A) is in the first year of a five-year, $85 million deal and B) is tasked with replacing a franchise legend and likely future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina, who was beloved by his pitching staffs over the year and is widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of all-time.
Last summer, when the Cubs not only elected to not extend Contreras, but also not trade him at the deadline (despite their best efforts), Jed Hoyer was raked over the coals by Cubs fans. But, with time, the decision to move on from the fan favorite is looking better and better, as is the case with several other former Cubs, including Javier Baez and Kris Bryant.
This latest report is sure to throw the self-labeled 'Best Fans in Baseball' into a frenzy, especially with their beloved Redbirds languishing in the cellar of the NL Central halfway through the year. Three months down - three-and-a-half years to go, Cardinals fans.