Cubs’ COVID outbreak continues to spread as Tommy Nance lands on ILRussell Dorseyon October 3, 2021 at 12:03 am

Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Cubs selected right-hander Joe Biagini from Triple-A Iowa to replace Nance on the roster

ST. LOUIS — The Cubs’ long week continued on Saturday as the team’s latest COVID outbreak for the fourth consecutive day. The team put right-hander Tommy Nance on the injured list before Saturday’s game against the Cardinals.

Nance joins a long list of players who have been affected by the team’s current COVID outbreak. Infielders David Bote, Patrick Wisdom, outfielder Nick Martini and catcher Austin Romine were also placed on the injured list with no injury designation this week.

“Just hoping [head athletic trainer] PJ [Mainville] doesn’t call my cell phone,” manager David Ross said. “Like I said yesterday, you’re holding your breath. … Thank goodness he feels ok.”

While the team hasn’t announced officially that any of the players have tested positive for the virus, the only “injured list” that opens up a spot on the 40-man roster is the COVID-related IL, which all five have been placed on. At least one of the players has tested positive.

The team selected right-hander Joe Biagini from Triple-A Iowa. Biagini had been on the current road trip as a member of the five-man taxi squad. The Cubs’ right-hander was 3-8 with a 5.50 ERA this season in Des Moines.

“We’re trying to get to tomorrow and through tomorrow and try to win the two games in between and get into next year,” Ross said. “Try to learn where we can be better and try to deal with the circumstances that next year is going to present.”

Contreras leaves game with hip injury

Catcher Willson Contreras left Saturday’s game in the third inning with right hip tightness. As Contreras jogged off the field as the inning closed, he gestured toward the dugout, signaling that he would need to come out of the game.

Contreras has been bothered by lower body injuries for a while and he’s had to be checked on by Ross and Mainville several times in the last week during games, including in Friday’s loss. He’s been wearing a brace on his right knee since coming back from a right knee sprain in September.

Catcher Erick Castillo replaced Contreras behind the plate.

Cubs set National League roster record

With the addition of Biagini, the Cubs set the NL record with 66 players used this season. They are now one player shy of tying the MLB record with one game remaining this season. The Mariners set the mark in 2019 with 67 different players.

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