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Willson Contreras exits with injury, suffers fractured forearm



Willson Contreras exits with injury, suffers fractured forearm

ST. LOUIS — A Cardinals membership already reeling from a languishing offense took one other extreme hit throughout a 7-5 loss to the Mets at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night time, when veteran catcher Willson Contreras suffered a fractured left forearm that may probably hold him out of motion for a number of weeks.

Contreras, the Cardinals’ most constant hitter all season and an improved defensive catcher, left Tuesday’s recreation in apparent ache after he was hit on the left forearm by a swing from slugger J.D. Martinez. Contreras instantly yelled out upon being hit and went to the bottom in ache. He continued to clutch his arm whereas being led off the sphere by trainers. X-rays at Busch Stadium finally revealed a fracture in Contreras’ left forearm. He was positioned on the 10-day injured checklist on Wednesday morning.

“It was numb, and I knew it wasn’t proper,” Contreras mentioned. “As soon as I attempted to do some movement stuff, there was some cracking in [the arm] and I knew it was dangerous.”

Contreras mentioned after the sport that he’ll probably have surgical procedure on his arm within the coming days, and medical doctors have instructed him that he’ll probably want six to eight weeks to get better. He’s already concentrating on the MLB All-Star Sport as a possible return.

Rookie Iván Herrera changed Contreras throughout the recreation. The Cardinals optioned third catcher Pedro Pagés to Triple-A Memphis on Sunday to make room for the return of middle fielder Dylan Carlson; Pagés was faraway from Memphis’ recreation on Tuesday night time for a pinch-hitter after Contreras’ damage, and he was recalled to function the backup catcher behind Herrera for the quick future.

“[Herrera] got here in asking me how I used to be feeling, and once I mentioned I had a fracture, he put his head down,” Contreras mentioned. “The one factor I instructed him was, ‘You don’t must put your head down; it is advisable to decide me up.’ He’s actually good, and he must hold the identical focus he’s had since Spring Coaching.”

Added the 23-year-old Herrera: “I might help the group once I’m enjoying lots, getting extra reps and being extra constant. I’m going to attempt to do my finest to assist the group win.”

To assist Contreras get extra low strikes for his or her pitchers, the Cardinals have positioned the veteran catcher nearer to the plate than he’s been in years previous. Contreras has additionally labored on catching with one knee on the bottom in hopes of getting his physique and his goal decrease to the bottom.

Cardinals supervisor Oliver Marmol acknowledged the chance that comes with coaxing catchers into positions nearer to the hitters.

“It’s an enormous threat, and it was talked about within the offseason and a subject in dialogue as a result of there have been extra [catcher’s interference calls], as a result of they’re evaluated on framing,” Marmol mentioned. “The nearer they’re in a position to get to the hitter to get that low pitch, it’s undoubtedly a subject of dialog. The danger is excessive, and we simply skilled it.”

Contreras got here into Tuesday twenty fifth within the Majors in catcher framing runs, however twelfth in strike fee (48.7 %) — a much-improved fee over final season. He’s sixth in strike fee on pitches low and away to left-handed hitters at 41.9 %. He additionally ranks twenty fourth in strike fee on strikes calls under the zone (53.8 %).

Catcher’s interference calls have soared this season as groups have coaxed catchers to get nearer to the plate — and nearer to hitters — in an try and get extra low strikes. Coming into Tuesday, there had already been 33 catcher’s interference calls in 1,058 video games, per MLB analysis. Final season, there have been 96 catcher’s interference calls in 4,860 video games. To place that into perspective, catcher’s interference calls have come each 32 video games this season in comparison with each 50.6 video games in 2023.

“There’s at all times a threat being a catcher,” Contreras mentioned candidly. “It may very well be my knee, I might get hit within the head for a concussion and the chance is at all times going to be there. I’m not blaming any a part of my recreation as a result of this occurred.”

Martinez knew instantly that Contreras was probably badly injured based mostly on how exhausting his bat hit the catcher.

“I flushed him, man,” Martinez mentioned. “Clearly, it was not what I used to be making an attempt to do. Trying on the video, he was simply so near me. He was like proper on me. His glove was like on my again leg. Then, he went to achieve for it. I’ve by no means hit anyone like that. I hope he will get higher.”

Contreras doubled to left subject within the first inning to assist spark a three-run rally by the Cardinals. He got here into the sport as one in all simply three Cardinals hitting above league common with an OPS+ of 167. For the season, Contreras has hit .280 with a team-best six house runs, 12 RBIs and 11 doubles.

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