CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs manager David Ross praised catcher Willson Contreras on Sunday for speaking up after he felt some tightness in his right hamstring.
Contreras left Saturday’s 7-6 loss to Arizona after he got hurt running the bases in the third inning. Contreras was held out for the series finale against the Diamondbacks, but he is considered day to day and Ross said it could have been worse.
“I thought that was smart of him yesterday, with some of the lower stuff he’s had,” Ross said. “I mean that’s a veteran move. Like, hey, something doesn’t feel right, let us know. Probably saved us there.”
The 30-year-old Contreras, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is batting .258 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 34 games.
With Contreras’ injury, the Cubs brought up catcher P.J. Higgins from Triple-A Iowa and designated infielder Ildemaro Vargas for assignment. Higgins started against Arizona and hit a three-run triple in Chicago’s 5-4 victory.
“I’ve played with P.J. the last couple years. I know him,” teammate Patrick Wisdom said. “That’s the type of guy he is, so I love when he’s at the plate and he’s behind the dish. So it’s nice to have him.”
Higgins, 29, made his major league debut last year, going 1 for 23 over nine games with Chicago. He is hitting .417 with a homer and 17 RBIs in 22 games for Iowa this season.
Higgins’ 2021 season was cut short by a right forearm strain that required surgery.
“It’s been a crazy 12 months,” Higgins said before Sunday’s win. “Honestly, after getting hurt last year and being injured, I’ve just been happy being able to play baseball. That was my first true injury where it sidelined me for six months basically.”