Chicago Cubs: What will the Cubs do without Contreras?

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 23: Willson Contreras
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 23: Willson Contreras /

It was a sickening feeling. Every Chicago Cubs’ fan knew what happened. It wasn’t a matter of IF Willson Contreras was injured, but how long he would be out.

The hottest Chicago Cubs’ hitter. Last weeks NL Player of the Week. And now Willson Contreras may be headed to the disabled list. It’s something you don’t ever plan for. Although, the Cubs did, somewhat. Getting Alex Avila from the Tigers was a heads up move from the front office. But replacing Contreras for any amount of time won’t be easy.

It had been since 2014 that a Cubs position player had won a weekly award from MLB. Now, shortly after winning it, Contreras is likely headed to the DL with an injury to his hamstring. Hustling to first base, Contreras came up lame as he neared first base. It was clear what he had injured; it was just a matter of how long he’ll be out.

MRI will tell the tale

It’s difficult to predict something like a hamstring injury. It could be 10 days; it could keep him out a month. Contreras will have an MRI tomorrow to find out the severity of the injury. The hope is that it’s nothing more than a strain or a pull–not a tear. But the dynamic of the Cubs offense is going to change for sure.

There’s a solid chance that Victor Caratini will be called back up once Contreras hits the DL. His role would stay the same as it had been, occasionally playing while Avila will play almost every day. In 81 games, Avila has hit .268 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI. These aren’t Contreras’ numbers, but he and Caratini should be a serviceable duo behind the plate.

For the Cubs, it’s going to be a matter of the other stars stepping up their game. Jason Heyward has done his part, but players like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are going to have to pick up the slack.

Next: Are the Cardinals in a rebuild?

The pitching has, for the most part, done its part in the second half. Outside of a couple of hiccups, all of these games were winnable. Already without Addison Russell, the Cubs will be at a disadvantage moving forward, even with an easier schedule.

Will have more on the Contreras MRI, keeping you up to date with his situation as more information comes available.