It's official: Cubs recall hot-hitting catcher to replace Montero


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Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports
Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Chicago Cubs today recalled catcher Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa. Catcher Miguel Montero has been designated for assignment.

Caratini, who will wear uniform number 20, joins his first major league roster and will be available for the Cubs tonight when they play the third of a four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

The 23-year-old Caratini is hitting .343 (84-for-245) with 20 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 54 RBI in 68 games for Iowa this season. Named a Pacific Coast League All-Star earlier today, he has 20 walks, a .384 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging mark, good for a .923 OPS. The switch-hitter owns a .384 average (28-for-73) with runners in scoring position while batting .375 (24-for-64) against left-handed pitching and .331 (60-for-181) against righthanders.

Caratini ranks fourth in the PCL in average, tied for sixth in doubles and seventh in RBI. In 41 games behind the plate this season, he has thrown out 12 of 43 (27.9 percent) baserunners attempting to steal. Named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May after hitting .366 (30-for-82) with three homers and 17 RBI in 24 games, he is batting .349 (30-for-86) with 13 extra-base hits and 21 RBI in 24 contests this month.

Acquired by Chicago at the 2014 trade deadline from Atlanta for infielder Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed pitcher James Russell, Caratini in 2016 was named a Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star with Double-A Tennessee. He hit a career-best .291 (120-for-412) with 25 doubles, six homers and 47 RBI in 115 games last year. In 2015, he helped Single-A Myrtle Beach to the Mills Cup Championship, earning series MVP honors.

Caratini owns a .287 batting average (467-for-1,626) with 121 doubles, 11 triples, 24 home runs, 234 RBI and a .367 on-base percentage in 454 career minor league contests since he was originally selected by Atlanta in the second round of the 2013 Draft. He has thrown out 100 of 349 baserunners (28.7 percent) attempting to steal in 288 career games behind the plate, and has also played 67 games at first base in the last three seasons.

Montero, 33, is hitting .286 (28-for-98) with three doubles, four home runs and eight RBI in 44 games for Chicago this season. In the three seasons with the Cubs since 2015, the 12-year major league veteran has hit .242 (166-for-686) with 22 doubles, 27 homers and 94 RBI in 243 contests.


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