Cubs’ Willson Contreras after fine: MLB must ‘take care of batters’

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Contreras after fine, HBP: MLB must ‘take care of batters’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Willson Contreras is frustrated.

The Cubs catcher reiterated Sunday that he doesn’t think opposing pitchers are intentionally throwing at him. But he was hit in the upper body again on Sunday, in the Cubs’ 7-1 loss to the Pirates, for the third time this season.

Contreras revealed Sunday that Major League Baseball fined him $7,500 for a benches-clearing incident in the aftermath of the first two hit-by-pitches.

Both came against the Brewers last week. He was hit in the helmet with a fastball last Monday. The next day, he wore a fastball to the left shoulder. He strode toward the mound, holding up two fingers to Milwaukee pitcher Brad Boxberger. Benches cleared, but the incident died down soon after.

Contreras said the league told him his fine was for breaking COVID-19 protocols.

“I was trying to defend my health,” Contreras said Sunday, “because I think the hit by pitch to the head could have ended my career. That’s something that they have to check. That's something that they have to see and feel. They can’t think as lawyers, they can’t think as the MLB Commissioner, they have to think for the players. They have to take care of the batters because we’re getting hit a lot.”

Contreras was hit 14 times last season, the most in the major leagues.

On Sunday, Pirates pitcher JT Brubaker hit Contreras in the back an inning before hitting Kris Bryant. After the second HPB, the Cubs dugout shouted in protest. Cubs associate pitching, catching and strategy coach Mike Borzello was ejected.

“That's why it was a little frustrating for our bench and our coaches,” Contreras said, “because they just keep (pitching) in, and that can get one of one of us hurt and might put our careers in jeopardy.”

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