Victor Caratini Has Filled in Admirably With the Glove in Anthony Rizzo's Absence

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Victor Caratini Has Filled in Admirably With the Glove in Anthony Rizzo’s Absence

Chicago Cubs

When the lineup for the home opener came out yesterday, I was unsurprised to see Ben Zobrist’s name penciled into the batting order, covering for Anthony Rizzo at first base. After all, he’s been swinging a hot bat and is more than capable of playing the position (even if he hasn’t done it in a while).

But it’s not necessarily because Rizzo’s original replacement, Victor Caratini, had been doing a bad job. In fact, the Cubs switch-hitting, positionally versatile catcher has been filling in admirably in the corner during Rizzo’s now-extended absence, and he gets the start there tonight.

Through three games at the position, Caratini has recorded four hits (.333 AVG) a run, and an RBI, which is good for a 106 wRC+ (perhaps a far cry from what Rizzo would’ve posted, but, again, back-ups are back-ups for a reason). More importantly, Caratini has done a nice job defensively, and has the highlights from this past weekend to prove it. Let’s take a look at a few.

First up, Caratini reels in a bad throw off the bag from Kris Bryant and gets his foot back in time to nail Domingo Santana with no outs in the ninth:

Maybe Rizzo would’ve stretched and made the catch anyway, but it was an impressive – and crucial – play nonetheless.

Earlier in the game, Caratini handled the catch, swipe, and tag components of a back-pick from Willson Contreras (which are notoriously unexpected and extremely fast):

It might not have been the ninth inning, but getting an unexpected double play and removing any runners from the bases is certainly welcome at any time, especially at the very beginning of the game when the tone is still being set.

And finally, in between these two gems, Caratini managed to track down another errant throw, only this time it pulls him off the bag, and perfectly executes a swipe tag:

Nicely done, rookie. Thanks for filling in.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami