Chicago Cubs: Five storylines that changed the 2019 season

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Once again, injuries sideline Contreras

1.  Willson Contreras injures hamstring during All-Star season – Every season needs someone to step up. Not the usual guys like first baseman Anthony Rizzo or shortstop magician Javier Baez but another part of the core unit. This season looked to be Cubs catcher Willson Contreras’ year.

An outspoken critic of current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his government, Contreras started the season in controversy as his country and hometown of Puerto Cabello and his family suffered.  Contreras took to social media right after the 2018 season and with a little help, got his parents out of the country. Once safe in the U.S., Contreras was now able to “focus” on the 2019 season.  (You can read more about Contreras and the Venezuelan debate here.

On June 24, the feisty Cubs catcher made headlines again when he hit a home run against the Atlanta Braves and three RBI. Contreras said something to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers which cleared the benches. Contreras was getting hot.

In July, Contreras was on top of the world being named to his second consecutive All-Star Game.  In early July, Contreras was hitting .300 and had 17 homeruns and 48 RBI with a 10-game hitting streak under his belt.  Without a doubt, Contreras was looking to be the team’s unspoken hero this season and looked ready to have his breakout in August.

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On August 3, Contreras got a base hit to left-center field and pulled his hamstring running out his ball to first base. He would not return until a month later on September 3. By this time, the Cubs were three games back in the division and the hopeful promise of Contreras leading the team to postseason had gone with his hamstring injury.