June 18, 2024

Willson Contreras is working his way back to the field after sustaining a fractured arm in May.

The St. Louis Cardinals are hanging around in a tight National League Central division, as one of three clubs behind the Milwaukee Brewers by 6.5 games. The Cardinals have been struggling to stay competitive without standout catcher Willson Contreras, but it appears that he may be returning soon.

Contreras fractured his arm in early May when J.D. Martinez hit it while swinging at a pitch during St. Louis’ game against the New York Mets. It was a depressing update for the Cards to receive, but the good news is that Contreras has taken a significant step toward returning to the field, having been cleared to resume full baseball activity.

“A month after sustaining a fractured left arm, Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras was cleared on Friday to begin full baseball activity. Contreras had a CT scan before the Cardinals’ game against the Rockies and caught a bullpen at Busch Stadium. On Saturday, he will begin his hitting progression. – Daniel Guerrero, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cardinals hoping Willson Contreras can return as soon as possible

Contreras had gotten out to a strong start with the Cardinals (.280 BA, 6 HR, 12 RBI,.950 OPS) before sustaining this injury, which contributed to how difficult it was to stomach. Fortunately, it appears like he is on the verge of returning to action, despite the fact that he still has a few major obstacles to overcome before he can return to the field.

Given the severity of the injury, St. Louis will make certain that Contreras is completely recovered before he returns to the plate. There is a sense of urgency given the Cardinals’ current standings, but it is still June, and it will be more vital to have Contreras on the field in August and September for a potential postseason run than to rush him back right away.

 

Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras breaks left forearm when hit by J.D.  Martinez's bat - Yahoo Sports

 

In Contreras’ absence, Ivan Herrera has mainly held down the fort behind the plate, and he’s performed admirably thus far (.260 BA, 3 HR, 16 RBI,.681 OPS). However, Contreras’ potential is significantly better than Herrera’s right now, which is why the Cardinals and their supporters are eagerly awaiting the return of the three-time All-Star catcher.

While Contreras still has some work to do, this is clearly a positive report for him, and he might return late in June. Until then, St. Louis will strive to remain afloat for as long as possible, and the current stretch might be critical in determining whether or not they are a legitimate postseason candidate later in the season.

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