It was a rough Opening Day to the 2023 MLB season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did they blow a ninth-inning lead in a 10-9 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, but more importantly, the team lost star catcher Willson Contreras to injury.
St. Louis’ big free agent signing left the game after a Jordan Hicks sinker hit him in the knee while he was catching in the top of the eighth inning, per Talkin’ Baseball. The initial prognosis is not good.
Contreras was removed with a right knee contusion, as Tweeted out by the Cardinals Twitter account. Those type of injuries usually take multiple weeks to heal, so fans will just have to hope for the best. In the short-term, the Cardinals are likely to be without a big bat, who already flashed his ability after going 2-for-4 with two runs scored in his St. Louis regular season debut Thursday.
Willson Contreras had to leave the game earlier after being hit in the knee with a Jordan Hicks pitch pic.twitter.com/E97UDV238x
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 30, 2023
The three-time All-Star catcher has hit 20 home runs or more four times in seven seasons. He raised eyebrows when he left the Chicago Cubs to sign a five-year, $87.5 million contract with their divisional rival. The Contreras move solidified this team’s identity as an offensive machine. St. Louis could still score runs without him if need be, as reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt and two-way star Nolan Arenado are both primed for another big season.
Though, Opening Day injuries are absolutely demoralizing. It is a sharp reminder that depth is so crucial in this game, and also a portent that more injuries will inevitably come during the long season.
Hopefully, the Cards’ medical staff has better news in the coming days.
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