On a beautiful late-May evening in Chicago, the Chicago Cubs put up a very crooked number in the first inning. With the Pittsburgh Pirates in town, and six more home games on the schedule this week, the boys came out firing on all cylinders. Willson Contreras was hitting lead-off for the Cubs on Monday night when they put up an incredible first inning.
After four runs on hits from Ian Happ, Yan Gomes, Andrelton Simmons, and a walk from Rafael Ortega, Contreras came to bat with the bases juiced. On a hanging curveball, the Cubs’ backstop sent the ball into orbit, hitting a grand slam for his 100th career home run in his career.
An Incredible Start
Contreras is off to an insanely hot start in 2022. Of qualified catchers with at least 100 plate appearances, no catcher in baseball holds a flame to Willson Contreras. Entering Monday’s action, Contreras had an .872 OPS, which is best among qualified catchers. The next closest? J.T. Realmuto with a .657 OPS. In addition, after his incredible first inning, that number is only going to improve for Contreras.
It’s no secret that Willson Contreras is in a contract year. As much as the fans scream and shout for one of the longest tenured Cubs to be extended, the front office doesn’t appear to be in a rush to extend him. That said, it is a shame. Yes, Contreras just turned 30 on May 13, but the backstop is an athlete and can play multiple positions as he ages. His bat is so rare for a catcher and at this point, losing him would hurt this team.
There is always a chance that Contreras stays in Chicago. It certainly appears that he wants to remain with the Cubs. Time will tell as the season persists, but if the front office doesn’t intend on keeping Willson Contreras, it will frustrate Cubs fans everywhere given his importance to the team.
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