Cubs place Willson Contreras on injured list days after trading away backup Martin Maldonado

Earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs traded backup catcher Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros in exchange for utilityman Tony Kemp. The deal made sense, at the time and otherwise -- Maldonado was one of three catchers on the roster and had barely played after coming over from the Kansas City Royals -- yet the Cubs have some reason to regret the move. 

On Sunday, they placed backstop Willson Contreras on the injured list due to a strained right hamstring. Taylor Davis was recalled from Triple-A in response:

Contreras suffered the injury on Saturday, pulling up lame as he ran to first base. He's expected to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity. For now, he'll miss at least 10 days. That's a rough bit of business for the Cubs, given Contreras had been one of their top offensive performers, hitting .275/.365/.525 (126 OPS+) in 340 trips to the plate. 

The Maldonado trade leaves Victor Caratini as the primary backup, and now the most-days starter. To his credit, he's produced this season, posting a 110 OPS+ across 49 games. Davis, on the other hand, is best used as organizational depth. 

The Cubs entered Sunday a half-game up on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. If they're going to win the division, they're probably going to need a hearty and hale Contreras to do it.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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