Joe Maddon Cites Incorrect Stats to Prove Willson Contreras Wasn’t Physically Fatigued Last Season

Willson Contreras caught 43 more innings (1109.2) than any other MLB catcher last season and experienced a dramatic offensive drop-off after opening the season with MVP hype. Naturally, everyone blamed Contreras’ excessive time behind the dish for his cratering production down the stretch.

Joe Maddon, however, thinks the fatigue was “more mental than physical” in 2018.

But Maddon is actually incorrect about his primary catcher’s usage. As several have pointed out, Contreras started four consecutive games five times last season, not just once as Maddon stated.

It’s possible that Maddon simply got the wrong information or that he either misunderstood or misspoke. After all, he defers to the “nerds” when it comes to crunching the numbers. And the Cubs have an incredible stats team that has developed several proprietary tools just for Maddon (e.g., his iPad lineup tool).

And maybe Maddon is treading lightly after former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny suggested Yadier Molina was physically fatigued. While any normal person would take such a statement in stride, Yadi got big mad and took to social media to denounce his manager’s words.

So there are some potential explanations for why Maddon said Contreras was more mentally gassed than physically, including the possibility that he misspoke or received wrong data. I don’t know. It’s just really weird for Maddon to be that wrong about Contreras’ playing time, ya know?

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