Intrigue in Iowa as Caratini Scratched (Updated)


The Cubs have recalled Victor Caratini and have DFA’d Chris Gimenez to make room on the 25-man roster.

Victor Caratini was originally slated to start behind the plate for the Iowa Cubs Tuesday night, but was scratched from the lineup before the start of the game. As if that wasn’t enough to get the rumor-mongers mongering, Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweeted that Caratini was not in the dugout either.

Birch later clarified that Caratini’s absence from the lineup was not a precursor for a trade, which is what a late scratch often signals this time of year. That’s particularly true with someone like Caratini, who holds significant trade value as a switch-hitting catcher who can also play the corner infield spots. And since those all happen to be occupied in Chicago, it’s long been supposed that he could end up elsewhere.

This does, however, leave open the question of why Caratini was not around at all Tuesday night. In all likelihood, this is a simple matter of the catcher falling ill. There’s also the possibility that he had some sort of family emergency, but let’s hope it’s just the former and that it’s relatively minor. Or maybe the Cubs have decided to part ways with Chris Gimenez.

Either way, Caratini’s situation could be something to monitor as we head closer to the July 31 trade deadline.


Birch tweeted after the game that Caratini was indeed not with the team and that I-Cubs manager Marty Pevey offered no explanation for the absence. While that could simply be a matter of respecting a player’s privacy in the event of a personal issue, there is one other possibility not mentioned above.

Caratini expressed displeasure with being demoted to make room for Chris Gimenez, and it’s easy to see why. As the veteran catcher has struggled at the plate and isn’t able to pair with Yu Darvish the pitcher he was kinda-sorta signed to recruit, Caratini has raked yet again at AAA.

The young backstop has slashed .313/.409/.478 with four homers and seven doubles in only 115 at-bats at Iowa. He’s really got nothing left to prove and you have to think he’s feeling a little stifled at this point. So am I saying this is another Tommy La Stella situation? No, that’s not it, though I would not be surprised if Caratini perhaps had to blow off some steam.

Before making any assumptions, I’ll just wait to see what comes out in the near future. If I was a betting man, I’d say there’s a roster move coming.

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