Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras set to return after month on injured list
Contreras should provide a boost to Chicago's inconsistent offense
The Cubs are going to activate All-Star catcher Willson Contreras from the injured list and put him in the lineup Tuesday night, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said during a weekly spot on 670 The Score in Chicago. Contreras pulled his hamstring while running to first during a fly out on Aug. 3 and has been sidelined since.
Contreras, an All-Star in 2019, no doubt gives the Cubs' inconsistent offense a boost. They just went 24 innings without scoring a run and.
Contreras, 27, is hitting .275/.365/.525 (125 OPS+) with 19 homers and 57 RBI in 87 games this season. He went 1 for 7 with a double and walk in three minor-league rehab games, though he was 1 for 3 with a walk, double and two runs scored on Monday.
This seems like a quick recovery for Contreras, but surely he's healthy. A re-injury to the hamstring would certainly mean he's done for the season.
The Cubs actually didn't end up missing Contreras a ton during his absence. Backup Victor Caratini hit .278/.358/.472 with four homers since the Contreras injury. The injury also spurred the Cubs to pick up veteran backstop Jonathan Lucroy, who hasn't been good at the plate but works well with the pitching staff and could be of help to Contreras as a bit of a mentor.
Moving forward, though, the Cubs are much better off with a healthy Contreras. They could use all the bats they can get as they chase the Cardinals (the Cubs are three games out) while holding down a wild-card spot. If the Cubs do make the playoffs, it would be their fifth straight appearance. They had previously never been to the postseason more than three times in a row.
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