Even back when the Cubs announced that Victor Caratini had made the club in Spring Training, it was already clear that him heading back to AAA Iowa at some point, and tagging out with veteran Chris Gimenez, was going to be a possibility. For one thing, the 24-year-old switch-hitting catching prospect won’t suffer from additional seasoning behind the plate, and for another thing, Gimenez is a veteran presence who had an opt-out in his minor league contract if he wasn’t called up by now-ish.
So, then, the move this weekend to bring up Gimenez and send down Caratini was pretty easy to see coming at one point or another, especially given how little Caratini was playing.
Well, easy to see coming except, perhaps, for Caratini:
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 30, 2018
Other than the surprise, I register Caratini’s reaction to the option pretty understandable, and borderline exactly what you’d want to see. No big leaguer wants to be sent to the minors, and it’s not as if Caratini was embarrassing himself as the Cubs’ backup. He *should* be unhappy about being sent down, and, like he says in the article, he should keep playing hard and doing what he can to perform well at AAA. He doesn’t have to like it.
At the same time, Caratini still has work to do developing behind the plate, and he hit just .262/.304/.308 (68 wRC+) in sporadic duty. He wasn’t forcing the issue just yet, and it was time to bring up Gimenez. The Cubs made the right move.
If there is an injury, Caratini can come right back up. Otherwise, we’ll see him in September when rosters expand, and he’ll have spent half of the season on the big league roster. That’s not too shabby for a developing prospect who is behind a young starter and veteran backup.