ST. LOUIS — The Cubs put catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right hip before their 3-2 victory Sunday against the Cardinals. He had been bothered by the hip for the last few games.
Contreras was a workhorse behind the plate once again this season, and the Cubs needed him to be because they went through eight backup catchers. He was banged up for much of the season but continued to play. Making sure Contreras has a solid backup next season will be on the Cubs’ to-do list this offseason.
Contreras finished the season slashing .237/.340/.438 with 20 doubles, 21 home runs and 57 RBI in 128 games.
‘‘For me, it was a learning experience once again,’’ Contreras said. ‘‘It was a difficult year; we all know that. It was a year of making adjustments and accepting a lot of things.
‘‘Obviously, I want to play every single day. But I also understand that my body needs rest. Because catching every single day, night and day games, is not easy.’’
Cubs break big-league record
The Cubs made history by breaking the major-league record for players used in a season with 69. The previous record of 67 had been held by the 2019 Mariners.
Catcher Tyler Payne, who was selected from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, pinch-hit for right-hander Alec Mills in the fifth inning to set the mark. The Cubs didn’t waste any time extending their record, either, as right-hander Joe Biagini came in to pitch in the bottom of the inning.
If there was an opportunity to be had this season, the Cubs weren’t afraid to offer it. They set a franchise record with 15 players making their major-league debuts and 44 making their team debuts.
‘‘I might have been the only guy that was in [the lineup] for both [Game 1 and Game 162], which is crazy,’’ outfielder Ian Happ said after the game. ‘‘We set a record for most players used, right? So there was definitely a lot of change.
‘‘The group that we finished with, I think [there were] a lot of awesome stories between [Patrick] Wisdom, Frank [Schwindel], Payne, [Erick] Castillo. [Castillo is] a guy that I played with in the minor leagues at different levels, and seeing him get a couple of hits to end the season, those are really cool moments you get to experience.’’
He said it
Mills, on finishing his first full major-league season: ‘‘Obviously, it’s been a lot of ups and downs. It’s been a whirlwind, especially going from 60 [games] to 162. My first full year, it was a grind. The last month was not easy. It’s obviously a marathon. I think, for me, the main goal was to be healthy, so that helped. Not pleased with how I finished out, but I’ll take that and be hungry going into the offseason, ready to compete next year.’’