The Chicago Cubs will be without one of their most important players for a large part of the team's playoff push.
All-Star catcher Willson Contreras will miss the next four weeks after being placed on the injured list Sunday with a strained right hamstring, the team confirmed Monday, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers.
Assuming there are no setbacks, that would put Contreras on track for a return in early September.
The 27-year-old suffered the injury while running up the first-base line late in Saturday's game. He grabbed at his leg and hopped up the line shortly after leaving the box and was then helped to the clubhouse.
The Cubs called the injury a right hamstring strain when announcing Contreras' IL stint, and an MRI on Monday confirmed it as such.
The injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Cubs, a team that's suddenly lacking catching depth. Chicago traded for veteran Martin Maldonado on July 15 after Contreras landed on the IL with a different injury. But after Contreras' quick return, the Cubs flipped Maldonado - who appeared in just four games in the Windy City - to the Houston Astros ahead of the trade deadline.
The second Maldonado trade leaves Chicago perilously thin behind the plate. Only three catchers - Contreras, Victor Caratini, and Taylor Davis, who was recalled on Sunday - are currently on the team's 40-man roster.
Contreras, the NL's starting catcher at this year's All-Star Game, is hitting a career-best .275/.365/.525 with 19 homers and 57 RBIs through 87 games this season.