Chicago Cubs: Will Victor Caratini play or be trade bait?


by - Columnist -
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Shortly before the game started Tuesday, Victor Caratini was scratched from the starting lineup of the Iowa Cubs and wasn’t in the dugout either. It was Interesting when you take into account that Caratini recently voiced concerns about being sent to Iowa and further commented about how he wouldn’t be able to further grow as a player, as he was smashing the AAA competition’s pitching. Caratini stated, “There’s nothing to improve [on] in this league.

When compared to Chris Gimenez (on the diamond), Caratini wins hands down. He’s better offensively, and sharper, faster and more versatile defensively. Here’s how the two compare offensively, in 2018:

So why did the Cubs choose Gimenez instead of Caratini in the first place?

I read an article in which Joe Maddon stated it was a move designed to give Caratini more playing time. That makes sense when you take into account that Gimenez is 35 years-old and probably content riding the bench until Contreras needs rest. Caratini, on the other hand, is a young-gun and wants to play daily, which just wasn’t an option with the Cubs current defensive configuration. Although Caratini catches, plays first and third, Contreras, Rizzo, and Bryant don’t take many days off. Granted, Bryant has been hurt, but Baez, Bote, and Happ have filled in nicely for him.

Then I read another piece that stated Gimenez was called upon as a ‘personal catcher’ for Yu Darvish. Initially, this would also seem to have some merit, as Darvish seems to need some customized care, but looking through the lineups, Gimenez has yet to catch for Darvish, yet Darvish won in his only start with Caratini catching for him. Further clouding this assertion is the fact that Darvish went on the DL in mid-May (5/20 was his last start), yet Gimenez wasn’t behind the plate until May 28th. This may be explained away by saying that the Cubs were expecting Darvish to return much sooner, but who’s to say?

Gimenez is a veteran catcher and undoubtedly provides leadership to the team, but the Cubs are 3-5 with Gimenez catching, whereas they went 6-5 with Caratini playing backstop.

Joe Maddon considered Caratini’s comments, as the 24-year-old catcher was recalled last night and is starting at first-base today, as the Cubs host the Tigers in a bid to build upon their current five-game winning streak.

Could this be Caratini’s final departure from the minor-league, or are the Cubs posturing to trade him? I like this kid and would love to see him grow with the Cubs, but as the trade deadline nears, the Cubs need to bolster their pitching staff. If they decide to trade him, I wish nothing but success for him.

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