A series of unfortunate events led to Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras' injury

The Cardinals best offensive performer went down on Tuesday night's game with a fractured arm.
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras exited Tuesday night's game against the New York Mets with a fractured arm. The Mets designated hitter J.D. Martinez had his back foot out of the box entirely, and he smacked Contreras's outstretched arm on his swing. Home plate umpire Jordan Baker should have called Martinez for being out of the box before a pitch was even thrown.

There were plenty of steps that led to this freak accident. No one is to blame aside from the umpire and Martinez. It is just an isolated incident. However, these steps led to this incident.

Catchers have been inching up each year.

Catcher's interference calls have gone up year over year. According to John Denton of MLB.com, using MLB research, catcher interference calls have gone up from once every 50.2 games to once every 32 games. This is a product of catchers moving forward in the catcher's box.

Willson Contreras has a new receiving motion.

Contreras was never known as a defensive wiz. His bat provided most of his value as a player. His arm was always better than league average, but his framing, particularly in the bottom of the strike zone, and receiving abilities left much to be desired.

In order to combat an inability to get the low strike calls in the pitcher's favor, Willson worked with his brother this past offseason on receiving. He now uses a "sweeping motion" when catching pitches. He gives the pitcher the spot, drops his glove to the dirt, then sweeps his glove up to receive the ball. Ideally, this will deceive the umpire and make him think the pitch is actually higher than it may be.

J.D. Martinez was allowed to stand too far back in the box.

J.D. Martinez had his entire back foot out of the box. That is more than illegal, and home plate umpire Jordan Baker should have caught on to this before a pitch was even thrown. J.D. Martinez is known for having his foot outside the box to draw catcher's interference. Below you'll find a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, from August 16th of last season.

Willson Contreras's injury is a combination of many factors, but the primary culprits should be J.D. Martinez and home plate umpire Jordan Baker. The Cardinals coaching staff and Contreras himself are not at fault. Regardless of blame, losing their best offensive player for the foreseeable future is a shock to the Cardinals.