Not long ago, we caught word that the Cubs were making a couple of roster moves: optioning the talented, but often-frustrating right-handed reliever Dillon Maples in favor of the talented, but often-frustrating right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. The former had been struggling to find the strikezone at the big league level, while the latter seemed to find it in Iowa. Hopefully, the switch is for the better, as the Cubs have some serious momentum brewing right now.
But that’s not the only news of the afternoon, because Victor Caratini is officially working his way back!
BREAKING: Chicago Cubs catcher Victor Caratini is expected to start for the #SBCubs tonight. Additional rehabilitation games this week are a possibility. Gates tonight open at 6pm ET. pic.twitter.com/8PLMbanW1z
— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs) May 6, 2019
He’ll begin his rehab stint tonight with the South Bend Cubs.
We’re not entirely clear how long it’ll be until Caratini returns to Chicago, but that’ll be at least partially up to him and how his wrist reacts to live-game action. The fear, of course, is that his power could be immediately and dramatically affected (hand/wrist injuries can be tough on hitters), but let’s not jump to such negative conclusions just yet. Hopefully, he’s feeling fine and will look strong both at and behind the plate right away. I would expect at least a couple of weeks, though it’s really tough to know until we hear more from him and the Cubs.
Speaking of which, Caratini hadn’t received a ton of time on the field, before fracturing the hamate bone in his left hand on April 11, but when he was out there, he was very good: .571/.646/.1000 (324 wRC+). And given his ability to switch-hit (and remaining offensive upside), he was a really great pair for Willson Contreras. He also has the ability to fill in at first base for Rizzo, further improving his value to this team.
So here’s to hoping for a quick, successful rehab start. Because while I love Taylor Davis’ awesome game-tying grand slam on Saturday, this team is better with Caratini behind the plate … er, well, behind Contreras, behind the plate.