St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras was forced to leave the game against the Chicago Cubs early after being hit by Ian Happ’s backswing. The bat hit Contreras in the head and immediately knocked his catcher’s mask off, and drew blood.
He was pulled from the game and will likely be evaluated for any other head injuries he may have sustained.
This is a scary reality of playing catcher in MLB, the risks of a swing hitting them the wrong way is often unavoidable. A respected veteran like Contreras is well aware of this risk, yet still does his job game in and game out.
John Denton, a beat reporter covering the St. Louis Cardinals was among the first to convey the incident to Twitter:
“#STLCards catcher Willson Contreras just took a hard hit to the helmet on the back swing of #Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. Contreras is bleeding from the right side of his head and trainers are trying to slow the bleeding” – John Denton
Here is a video of the swing that hit Contreras:
“Ian Happ swings and hits Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras in the head” – Chris Henrique
Based on other reports, Contreras never lost consciousness but was clearly shaken up by the hit. Hopefully, the damage will be superficial and not result in any long-time harm to the catcher.
Willson Contreras’s trade value is an interesting wrinkle to this injury
The Cardinals are expected to be massive sellers at the trade deadline, looking to get value for some of their better players. Notably, Willson Contreras just signed with the club this past offseason. While his contract may be a tough sell based on his season thus far, his veteran experience is invaluable.
As MLB teams more accurately identify their positions of need, a catcher is one that fans could see being addressed in a hurry.