Willson Contreras' 2023 season came to an early end after suffering an injury. Contreras is reportedly dealing with tendonitis in his left wrist and was placed on the IL as a result, ultimately ending his '23 campaign with the season winding down, per Rob Rains of stlsportspage.com.
Contreras is a star, but his first season with the Cardinals was a disappointing one. Here's a recap of Contreras' first go-around with St. Louis.
Willson Contreras' frustrating first season with Cardinals
The Cardinals have been a consistent contender over the years. The team signed Contreras to a lucrative five-year contract over the offseason, elevating their hopes of reaching the playoffs once again in 2023. Additionally, they signed a former rival in Contreras, who of course began his career with the Chicago Cubs.
Contreras even fired shots at Chicago prior to the 2023 season. He expected life with the Cardinals to be much better.
“For me, I like this better. It's a better organization. Old school way, which I love it,” Contreras said in February, per Bally Sports Midwest. “Ever since I got here it's been everything just one way. The Cardinal way.”
The year began with St. Louis stumbling out of the gate. Then drama began to surface about Contreras' position. He was a catcher with the Cubs, but the Cardinals were rumored to be interested in making him their DH and possibly even having him play the outfield.
The outfield idea never came to fruition, but Contreras did spend some time at DH.
The most frustrating element of Contreras' first season in St. Louis was the performance of the Cardinals. St. Louis currently sits in last place in the NL Central, sporting a lackluster 67-85 record.
From an individual standpoint, Contreras performed fairly well. He slashed .264/.358/.467 with an .826 OPS and 20 home runs. It was a productive campaign that did not translate into many victories for the team. St. Louis' offense wasn't all that bad, with other stars such as Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt also playing well.
The Cardinals must improve their pitching staff during the offseason if they want to bounce back in 2024 though.
Overall, the team is likely content with the Contreras signing given his strong performance. But they are certainly not happy about the results of the 2023 season.