The roller coaster 2017 season continues for the defending champion Chicago Cubs, and one of their biggest "lows" was hit yesterday. Catcher Willson Contreras came up lame running out a grounder to first base, and immediately grabbed the back of his leg. Contreras was immediately helped off the field and into the dugout and was out of the game.

Contreras had an MRI this morning to look at the severity of the injury at an Arizona hospital. ESPN Chicago reporter Jesse Rogers reported later today that Contreras will be out several weeks and no indication of surgery.

The Cubs are set to make an official statement on Friday morning, but what is for sure is that Contreras will be sidelined for some time now and it is time for the team to step up in a tight race.

Contreras' value

Willson Contreras has been the most productive Cub since the All-Star break, putting up big numbers with the bat and growing further into the catcher position. The 25-year old catcher is playing in his second big league season after his debut last year in late-June. He is slashing .274/.342/.861 with 21 home runs, 71 RBIs and is a 3.0 fWAR player which is just second in the league behind Buster Posey.

Since the all star break Contreras has played his best stretch of baseball this year hitting 10 of his 21 home runs in just 23 games while slashing .311/.380/1.080.

Not only is his value as a player on the field been great, but his leadership and fire have been big as well. Contreras has become a vocal leader in the clubhouse and has created great relationships with his fellow teammates and coaches.

After veteran catcher Miguel Montero was traded from the team because of negative comments towards the team in early July, that is when Contreras really stepped in. He called himself the "Heart of the team" who says he wants to always play with energy. He is extremely important to this team and his value will be missed on the field.

Time for others to step up

Theo Epstein and company made the move at the deadline to get veteran catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers as a backup, now he will be the number one guy with Contreras gone. Avila is no stranger to starting as he was the number one backstop in Detroit for many seasons. Avila has played in four games since coming to Chicago with nine at-bats and has hit a home run and driven in two. Overall on the season he has 12 home runs and has slashed .268/.387/.861 in 81 games. Avila has been in a number of playoff races and postseason games, so his experience is important to have during this stretch.

Inconsistency from many of the big bats this year has resulted in some losses or by having Willson Contreras bail them out.

Now is time for the team to play to their regular level. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been very streaky this year as has Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward; Ben Zobrist is having a down year all around in addition to wrist problems. These are All Star caliber players who are some of the best at their respective position in the National League. It is incredibly important that they play at their talent level consistently down the stretch, especially considering the NL Central race right now is very tight.

While Contreras will be greatly missed, this team on paper is still a great team that can easily get hot and go on a run, and they are going to want to find that bring their best if they want to make a third-straight postseason.