Could Willson Contreras return from DL during showdown vs. Brewers?

PITTSBURGH — Barring a setback with his hamstring, catcher Willson Contreras could return from the disabled list by the end of the Cubs’ series against Milwaukee this weekend.

That would be less than five weeks since pulling his right hamstring running to first base in San Francisco last month.

Contreras fared well enough in vigorous running drills again Tuesday that the team scheduled him to start a minor-league rehab assignment with advanced-Class A
Myrtle Beach on Thursday.

That’s the second game of a best-of-five Carolina League playoff series. He’s scheduled to play Thursday and Friday and likely at least one more if the series continues.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras | Gene J. Puskar/AP

“The trainer has the last word,” he said. “It can be frustrating, but you have to see things from a positive point. I got hurt and now I have to be 100 percent sure that I come back and play and be my 100 percent.”

He said he’s not sure how many at-bats with Myrtle Beach he’ll need to feel right at the plate. But the catcher who was hitting .311 with 10 homers and a 1.080 OPS since the All-Star break before his injury sounds confident he can return with similar impact.

“My mind’s still positive,” he said. “I was hot and can be hot again. I’m not saying the first game I’m going to go 4-for-4, but I trust myself. And I know when I get back I’ll be on fire, too.”

Stare-master gets unlikely call

Catcher Taylor Davis, who has become more famous for his camera staredowns than anything else he has done during seven years in the minors, got an unexpected September call-up Tuesday.

Davis, 27, who signed after going undrafted in 2011, was a backup through much of his minor-league career before earning more playing time at Class AA and AAA and earning invitations to big-league spring training the last two years.

“It’s cool. Obviously, this is a dream,” said Davis, a clubhouse favorite whose promotion was announced in an Iowa Cubs team meeting.

‘‘Hopefully, it shows some people just never give up. You just look at my career in the past and see what has happened to me. I didn’t really play early in my career, and for this to happen at this point shows people that really, if you have a uniform, you have a chance.”

His signature stare into any nearby camera – a move so popular in Iowa that a video the team made of him doing it became viral — led to a recent ESPN segment on him.

“It’s been wild,” said Davis, whose not sure whether to keep up the tradition in the majors. “It’s kind of a thing now, so I don’t really think I have a choice.”

This and that

Javy Baez returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing a game because of sore thumb.

Anthony Rizzo, who had missed only two games this season, got a scheduled day off Tuesday with left-hander Steven Brault pitching. The Cubs are in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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