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Willson Contreras will make his return to catching for the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers, manager Oli Marmol told reporters Saturday, including's John Denton. Contreras has not appeared behind the plate since May 5, with the Cardinals having announced last Saturday that he would not catch in the near term. Instead, each of his six starts since have come as the Cardinals' designated hitter.

Contreras will be paired up with Jack Flaherty as the Cardinals' starting battery on Monday. Flaherty and rotation fixture Adam Wainwright had met with Contreras to discuss what the catcher needed to do in order to help out the pitching staff.

"This is what they wanted. They both wanted it and Willson wanted to be behind the plate on Monday," Marmol told reporters, including Denton. "And we felt really good about lining it up that way with all the progress that we've made."

Contreras, 31, signed a five-year pact worth nearly $90 million with the Cardinals over the offseason. He's been a reliably above-average hitter throughout his career, but critics have fixated on his defensive shortcomings. While gamecalling is difficult for outsiders to quantify, Statcast estimates that he ranks in the 34th percentile in framing. (Cardinals backup Andrew Knizner, for his part, ranks in the 47th.)

"I want to be super clear. We're not losing ballgames because Willson Contreras is behind the plate. I want to be super clear on that," Marmol said at the time. "This is a guy that's putting in an amazing amount of work to be able to become more familiar with, one, our pitchers, but also how we do things."

Despite the drama about Contreras' defense, he's remained a capable hitter. In 150 plate appearances entering Saturday, he's batted .263/.340/.406 (108 OPS+). The 14-25 Cardinals, nevertheless, remain one of the season's most disappointing teams.