Cards fans have been calling for the heads of management all season.
Let the rumors begin! Willson Contrares was moved to full time DH before his first appearance as a St. Louis Cardinal at Wrigley.
Many Chicago Cubs fans believe that Oli Marmol did this to mute the conversation about Willson’s bad pitch framing skills. However, Jed Hoyer publicly commented many times over the last couple years about Willson’s pitch framing needing work so let’s be real… the Cardinals top catching prospect was expected to start the season with the Major League club. He started the year with their Triple A team and only got called up over the weekend. At the end of the day there is a lot going on here so let’s discuss all of it!
The last time the Cardinals were in last place in the NL Central Division was 1990. The infamous Joe Torre managed the Cards from the start of 1990 to June of 1995 after managing the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Never winning a championship as a manager until going to the New York Yankees in 1996. No, I am not suggesting that Marmol who is an inexperienced manager will go the first 20 years of his managerial career without winning a ring. In fact, I am suggesting quite the opposite based on his comments:
“I want to be super clear. We’re not losing ballgames because Willson Contreras is behind the plate. I want to be super clear on that. This is a guy that’s putting in an amazing amount of work to be able to become more familiar with, one, our pitchers, but also how we do things.” – Source: CBS Sports
This quote shows very clearly that Willson is not being made out to be the scapegoat. Many would say that Marmol is saying what he has to say to save his job. However, let’s look at the facts here. Willson has never caught any of the Cardinals pitchers before this season and they team is struggling overall they have spend most of the first quarter of this season at the bottom of the National League Central.
Is it not at all possible that the Cardinals are just listening to their fanbase by making Willson the full time DH a couple days ago? That’s what it sounds like when we hear what Marmol said to the media on Saturday.
In fairness, let’s also look at what Willson said on Saturday about talking to Molina:
#STLCards C Willson Contreras on talking to Yadier Molina: “(Molina) said he was watching the games and he said that we’re not executing pitches. I’m not blaming anybody. I’m not pointing fingers at my pitchers because I’m on their side. But we just need to be better executing.”
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) May 6, 2023
If that is not Willson saying he needs more work with the pitching staff than I do not know what it is because he is owning up to the fact that he is not good with pitch framing through saying that.
Rumors have been started in Chicago that there is a chance of the Cardinals trading Willson back to the Cubs. Let’s be realistic though… if the Cubs wanted to bring him back this conversation about him being the scapegoat would not be happening because he would never have hit free agency. Also, do you really think the Cubs would want to bring him back through a trade? Chances are they do not want to be sending even a bag of balls to the Cardinals for Willson because President of Baseball Operations has said many times that they are building the next team of core players in Wrigleyville which would mean Willson is not in the cards, pun intended, for the Cubs anymore.
With that… it is time to play ball!
If you cannot play with them, root for them!