Tonight, the Chicago Cubs young back-up catcher, Victor Caratini, continued to show us why he deserved to make this team out of Spring Training over the sort of random, veteran back-up catcher easily found in free agency.
Filling in for Willson Contreras, the switch-hitter notched two hits, including a double, and knocked in a critical insurance run after the go-ahead run in the seventh. Unfortunately – and apparently – we’re not allowed to have nice things.
Caratini may have fractured a bone in his left hand:
Victor Caratini injured left hand on first swing of his last AB. After X-ray, fear is it’s a hamate fracture. Will have CT scan Friday to get more information.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 12, 2019
According to multiple reports, Caratini injured his left hand on the first swing of his final at-bat and the fear is that his hamate bone has been fractured. That wouldn’t be the worst hand injury a guy could have, but it’s still not good. He’ll have a CT scan tomorrow to get more information, but regardless of the outcome, he’s likely going to miss a significant chunk of time (update below: sounds like 3-4 weeks). That’s a bummer.
Not only has Caratini been very good this year in limited duty (.571/.647/.1000; 1HR, 5 RBI), his overall talent and upside would have potentially provided the Cubs an ability to sit Willson Contreras more than usual, which would’ve likely raised his overall production, as well. Contreras can still (and probably will) be excellent, but as we saw in the second-half of 2018, rest is key. On top of that, Caratini is just a valuable player, in general. He’s a switch-hitter, a back-up catcher, and can even play first base in a pinch. He’s also young and, as we’ve seen, clearly has more upside in the bat.
And worst of all, hand/wrist injuries are notorious power-vacuums and Caratini had just begun coming around in that department.
I don’t want to go too overboard in my concern, here – he’s still only the backup catcher and we don’t know the extent of the injury – but obviously, it’s especially painful given just how good he has been. We’ll get into this more tomorrow when there are more details, for sure, but for now that’s the news.
Note: Taylor Davis is the only other catcher on the Cubs 40-man roster at the moment, and might be the first guy up tomorrow.
UPDATE: Before I even click publish, we have an update on the timeline:
Caratini said he's hearing 3-4 weeks as a potential timeline
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) April 12, 2019
Incredibly, it sounds like the injury occurred *before* his final swing, which produced this:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 12, 2019