(CBS) Following the retirement of veteran leader David Ross in the offseason, one of the key storylines for the defending champion Cubs this season is how second-year pro Willson Contreras will fare as the everyday catcher. The Cubs have one of the league’s best staffs, but the pitchers are also full of some idiosyncrasies, be it with their physical skills, habits or personalities.
In the mind of right-hander Jake Arrieta, it’s been so far, so good for Contreras. Arrieta joined Dan Bernstein and Laurence Holmes on 670 The Score on Friday afternoon and explained why.
“The transformation he’s made has really been night and day,” said Arrieta, who threw six innings of one-run ball in a win at St. Louis on Tuesday with Contreras behind the plate. “He seems so comfortable behind the plate and in the box now. He doesn’t look a second-year player. He’s really playing beyond his years.”