The Chicago Cubs are going to be without Willson Contreras for quite some time, as the young catcher is heading to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but considering the worst case scenario this is actually good news. Contreras was injured during Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants, running to first base in the eighth inning. However, he’s only expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Official word from Cubs is "moderate" hamstring strain for WC. Typical is 4-6 weeks but they will re-evaluate after 2.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 11, 2017
Rookie catcher, Victor Caratini, who made his MLB debut earlier this season with the Cubs, has been called up to take Contreras’ spot on the 25-man roster. Theo Epstein was on 670 The Score earlier on Thursday and said the Cubs will not be looking to add a catcher via the waiver trade market. So, that means we’ll see a lot of recently acquired catcher Alex Avila behind the plate.
Don’t get me wrong, losing Contreras for a month obviously hurts the Cubs but it’s not the end of the world. This roster still has the best talent in the division and after this weekend’s three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks they play 24 straight games against teams with a below .500 record. And if the Brewers keep regressing, that easy schedule would stretch to 30 straight games against below .500 teams.
Of course, there’s never a guarantee that the better team will always win, as we just saw in San Francisco, but the Cubs should be able to expand their division lead in the next month even with the loss of Contreras. It won’t be easy because during the previous couple weeks we’ve seen Kris Bryant’s power decrease after his hand injury in Atlanta, Jason Heyward hasn’t been producing while at the same time Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ look bad again at the plate.
You expect Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to pick it up with the absence of Contreras, who has been the best Cubs player since the middle of June, and with an easy schedule and strong starting pitching this team should be fine. But again, losing Contreras makes it harder for the Cubs, no doubt about that.
But hey, if history repeats itself, Willy should be back in time to be a World Series hero for the Cubs. Actually, earlier than that.
The Cubs are still going to win the division and Willy's going to pimp the shit out of his HR in Game 1 of the NLDS.
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) August 9, 2017
Aside from Kyle Schwarber’s injury last year, it’s incredible the amount of luck the Cubs have had since the beginning of 2015 with injuries. Even this one, it looked bad, possibly season-ending, but he could be back in less than a month according to Jesse Rogers.
A MLB source indicated encouraging news for Cubs catcher Willson Contreras who will be out at least two weeks… https://t.co/5iwPjVeecw
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 10, 2017