When the lineup came out earlier today, I wasn’t particularly surprised to see Victor Caratini grabbing his second start in three games. After all, the first start was a Yu Darvish outing (Caratini catches more of those than Willson Contreras) and it came after the All-Star break, which Contreras played through as the NL starter.
Given how good Caratini has been and how much the added rest has clearly helped Willson Contreras, it just seemed like a fine move – and that’s without considering Trevor Williams favorable splits for left-handed hitters.
But, as it turns out, it wasn’t all strategy and rest:
Willson Contreras has a little soreness in his right foot, arch area. Felt it late in yesterday's game and that's why Caratini replaced him. They don't think it's anything big, may have been from a new pair of shoes. But they'll give him today and see how he feels.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) July 14, 2019
Caratini catching today because Contreras dealing with sore right foot. #Cubs say it's minor.
— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) July 14, 2019
There’s not much info out there right now, but the early word is that the injury/pain is minor, so let’s hope it doesn’t progress beyond that. Given how singularly important Contreras is to this team and how the matchups worked today anyway, I’m really hoping this is just one of those abundance of caution situations.
It’s a good thing the Cubs have a very capable backup, with plenty of upside of his own.