The Chicago Cubs got some welcome news on the injury front, and one of their minor league teams got a big boost as they begin their playoff series.
Willson Contreras, who has been out of the Cubs’ lineup since early August with a hamstring injury, will begin his rehab assignment on Thursday as he prepares for the stretch run of the season.
He will bat second and play catcher for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Cubs’ Class-A affiliate, as they begin their Southern Division Championship Series on Thursday night against the Down East Wood Ducks.
The series was originally supposed to be a best-of-five, but with the approach of Hurricane Irma it has been shortened to a best-of-three, with Games 2 and 3, if necessary, taking place on Friday night.
Contreras suffered a hamstring injury while running to first base in a game against the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 9. The catcher has been out since then, and he’s hopeful that he’ll be back in the lineup soon for a Cubs team that currently has a four-game lead in the National League Central.
The Cubs have also added plenty of catching depth to their lineup, acquiring Rene Rivera off of waivers from the New York Mets and calling up Victor Caratini and Taylor Davis from Triple-A Iowa.
There is a possibility that Contreras could be back with the Cubs as soon as this weekend, when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers in a critical three-game set at Wrigley Field.