CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today placed catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 14) with a right foot strain, added catcher Martin Maldonado to the 25-man roster and recalled right-handed pitcher Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa.
Maldonado will wear uniform number 38 and start at catcher tonight while Mills will wear uniform number 30 and be the starting pitcher tonight when the Cubs continue their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
Acquired from Kansas City last night for lefthander Mike Montgomery, Maldonado has played all or parts of the last nine seasons with Milwaukee (2011-16), the Los Angeles Angels (2017-18), Houston (2018) and Kansas City (2019), winning the Gold Glove for defensive excellence with the Angels in 2017. He has thrown out 122 of 327 attempted basestealers in his career, good for a 37.3 percent success rate, the best caught stealing percentage of any catcher in all of baseball starting in 2011 (minimum 600 games played).
Maldonado, 32, broke into the majors with Milwaukee in 2011 and averaged 71 games per year from 2012-16 before joining the Angels in 2017, hitting 14 homers with 19 doubles in 138 games, all career bests, to go with his Gold Glove award and Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award. He split 2018 between the Angels and Astros, recording a career-best 44 RBI. Maldonado hit .227 (54-for-238) with 15 doubles, six homers and 17 RBI in 74 games with the Royals this year. He is a career .220 hitter (442-for-2005) with 87 doubles, 57 homers and 210 RBI in 686 career big league games.
Mills, 27, joins the Cubs for the second time this season, as he was with the big league club from April 21-23 but did not appear in a game. He made seven appearances (two starts) for the Cubs last season, going 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA (8 ER/18.0 IP) while limiting foes to a .172 batting average. With Iowa this year, Mills has gone 6-2 with a 4.73 ERA (42 ER/80.0 IP) in 15 appearances (14 starts), including a 6-0 record with a 2.72 ERA (15 ER/49.2 IP) in his last eight starts beginning May 30. He has pitched six innings or more in seven of those eight outings, including each of his last six.
The righthander returned to the big leagues last year for the first time since 2016, when he made three relief appearances for the Kansas City Royals, posting no record and a 13.50 ERA (5 ER/3.1 IP). Mills was acquired by the Cubs on February 8, 2017 from the Royals for minor league outfielder Donnie Dewees. Overall, Mills is 0-1 with a 5.48 ERA (13 ER/21.1 IP) in 10 major league appearances, two as a starter. He spent most of last year with Iowa, going 5-12 with a 4.84 ERA (67 ER/124.2 IP) in 23 starts.
Mills was originally selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is 32-37 with nine saves and a 3.59 ERA (249 ER/625.0 IP) in 139 games (111 starts) covering eight minor league campaigns in the Royals and Cubs organizations.
Contreras, 27, is batting .286 (75-for-262) with 14 doubles, 19 homers and 55 RBI in 78 games with the Cubs. He was the starting catcher for the National League at last week’s All-Star Game.