Willson Contreras, the lone member of the Cubs All-Star core not traded last month, will be out at least the next 10 days with a right knee sprain.
The Cubs placed Contreras on the 10-day IL prior to Thursday’s game against Milwaukee.
The Cubs said Contreras tweaked his knee recently doing blocking drills.
“It’s definitely not something serious, but something that doesn't make a lot of sense to play with,” team president Hoyer said.
The Cubs have leaned heavily on Contreras this season while using six backup catchers due to injuries. Contreras leads MLB backstops in innings caught (793) and has played in 104 of the Cubs’ 116 games.
It’s the first time Contreras has gone on the IL since straining his right hamstring in August 2019 — despite leading MLB in hit by pitches in 2020 (14) while adding another 13 this season, not to mention all the bumps and bruises that come with his position.
“This guy has a pain tolerance that is far beyond most people,” Hoyer said. “I go back to [Craig] Kimbrel hitting him in the hand with a 99-mph fastball [earlier this season].
“I assumed that was the end of the season and he had a hit two innings later. It's remarkable how tough he is.”
The Cubs activated Austin Romine off the IL in a corresponding move.
Romine, who joins brother Andrew on the roster, has been limited to six games this season due to a knee sprain in spring training and a wrist sprain that landed him on the 60-day IL in May.
"It's really cool that Austin and Andrew are on the same team," manager David Ross said. "They've never gotten to play together, so one of my priorities here coming up soon will be getting them in the lineup together.
"I don't have a brother, but just to be able to take the field with your brother [is special]."
The Cubs also recalled reliever Ryan Meisinger from Iowa and designated Kyle Ryan for assignment.