The Cubs will activate catcher Willson Contreras and install him in tonight’s lineup, skipper Joe Maddon (h/t Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, via Twitter). Veteran Ben Zobrist is also set to return to action for the first time since early May.
Contreras has been sidelined for about a month, leaving the team without a key regular. Jonathan Lucroy was added to partner with Victor Caratini and hold down the fort, but the club is well shy of full strength without its first-choice receiver.
The Cubs obviously feel that Contreras has recovered fully from the hamstring strain that forced him to the sideline. Otherwise, he’d presumably remain on ice. The club can ill-afford an aggravation of the malady, which might risk Contreras’s postseason availability. At the same time, he’s certainly needed to help the club as it attempts to chase down the Cardinals and hold off Wild Card contenders over the final month of the season.