Rookie Contreras has 'shown he belongs'

Catcher impressing Maddon as he proves himself in big leagues

Rookie Contreras has 'shown he belongs'

NEW YORK -- When Willson Contreras was called up, the Cubs said at the time they didn't know if it would be a short-term or long-term assignment for the catcher. Apparently, Contreras is here to stay.

"He's shown he can play here, he can hit here," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday of Contreras, who entered the day with a hit in every game but one in which he had a plate appearance.

"Obviously, you're not looking at him as a left fielder or a first baseman first, you're looking at him behind the plate first," Maddon said. "You know he can do these other things. Right now, he's shown he belongs here, yes."

Contreras made his sixth start at catcher on Friday, and has started four games in left field and one at first base since he was promoted from Triple-A Iowa.

Worth noting

• Infielder Tommy La Stella, rehabbing from a right hamstring strain, was set to play on Friday for Iowa and then be re-evaluated. Maddon said there was a possibility that La Stella could join the Cubs in New York.

"He could," Maddon said. "I don't know that, but he could.'

Dexter Fowler, who was eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, will not be ready at that time, Maddon said. There has been no setback for Fowler, sidelined with a strained right hamstring. He will most likely need to go on a Minor League rehab assignment.

Adam Warren will start either Tuesday or Wednesday in the Cubs' series against the Reds, giving the team a six-man rotation. The start is designed to give the other five a breather during a stretch of 24 straight games.

On Thursday, Warren gave up two runs on three hits over five innings while striking out three for Iowa.

Jake Arrieta is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue," photographed while pitching naked in the Arizona desert.

"To be honest, it's a pretty cool honor," Arrieta said.

The photo shoot was done outside of Scottsdale, Ariz., where the crew had built a pitching mound. Has he ever pitched naked before?

"Just in front of my wife in the room," Arrieta said. "That's it. Just doing some dry drills. It didn't feel normal [during the photo shoot], but that was the scenario and just went with it."

And his wife, Brittany, approved the photos.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.