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Cubs roster move: Willson Contreras to injured list, Tyler Payne recalled

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The Cubs will have a backup catcher today.

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

One more day, one more Cubs roster move:

Willson Contreras has had some minor bumps and bangs over the last week or so, and left Saturday’s game with a hip issue. Bringing Tyler Payne to the active roster is a protection against Erick Castillo being injured and the Cubs not having a suitable backup (the current emergency catcher is Frank Schwindel, and that would, at least, be amusing).

Contreras finishes the 2021 season batting .237/.340/.438 (98-for-413) with 21 home runs in 128 games. These are a bit below his career averages, but not significantly.

Tyler Payne was the Cubs’ 30th-round draft pick in 2015 out of West Virginia State University. In six minor-league seasons he has hit .244/.311/.377 in 288 games, and apart from one game at Iowa, he’s never played above Double-A.

The Cubs thus have two active players — Payne and righthanded pitcher Joe Biagini — who have not yet played in the major leagues in 2021. If either gets into today’s game, the Cubs will set a record for the most players used by a team in a MLB season. Currently, with 67 players used, the Cubs are tied for that mark with the 2019 Mariners.

As always, we await developments.

Today’s game preview has been moved back to 12:45 p.m. CT.