The Chicago Cubs today officially placed back-up catcher Victor Caratini on the Injured List with a fractured left hamate bone in his hand, for which he’ll undergo surgery on Monday. The recovery time is anywhere from four to six weeks, though some players have been out a little longer after the surgery to remove the fractured section of the hamate, so we’ll see. We discussed the implications of the injury earlier this morning.
That means the Cubs will have to fill their back-up catcher spot for a good long while, and right now, that means Iowa Cubs catcher Taylor Davis comes up.
Davis, 29, is a light-hitting, decent-defense catcher, whose minor league framing stats (CAVEATS AND CAUTION ABOUND) suggest he’s passable at that skill. No one should be expecting this to be a net upgrade for the catching group by any stretch, but it’s conceivable that Davis could perform adequately as a back-up catcher for the next month or two. The Cubs will need it if they don’t want to ride Willson Contreras too hard, please and thanks.
In the meantime, it’s also conceivable that the Cubs will work the fringes of the trade market for a cheap veteran, or will eventually give Francisco Arcia – pretty similar profile to Davis, but he bats lefty and has quite a bit more big league experience – a shot. It probably depends most of all at this point how the Cubs feel the catching options will best help/mesh with the pitching staff.
If nothing else, Davis is a lot of fun:
— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs) August 27, 2017