The Aftermath: Cubs Welcome Victor Caratini, Say Goodbye to Miguel Montero (UPDATE)

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As we said goodbye to (most likely) former Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, he also said goodbye to the team, the city of Chicago, and the fans in a classy way.  I don’t think, despite his comments, he ever fully absolved himself from blame, and he owned his DFA.  Normally I don’t share stuff from Gordo because he’s clickbait (haha, pot calling kettle black), but this had some good Miggy quotes in it:

Miguel Montero on Wednesday said he takes responsibility for ripping pitcher Jake Arrieta after the Nationals ran wild in a victory over the Cubs Tuesday.


After his comments blew up on broadcast media and social media, Montero reached out to Arrieta.

“I actually called Jake to apologize for my comments, and he was fine,” Montero said. “He said, `You’re not wrong.’

“He called me this morning when he found out the news and said he felt bad. It is what it is.”

I know the media is so full of narrative today, what with the controversy within the clubhouse, Anthony Rizzo‘s response, a faction of the Cubs going to the Trump White House, etc.  But Miggy wasn’t wrong, and Jake Arrieta knew he wasn’t wrong.  The only wrong part was airing all the grievances out to the public, and possibly in Rizzo pointing his finger back at the original finger-pointer.  My guess is that this blows over and is either part of the season long narrative whether the Cubs repeat or they miss the playoffs altogether (perish the thought, they’ll get there).  Although sometimes, you gotta wonder about Miggy’s words…

He kinda looks like a superhero.
(From Caratini’s Twitter)

Meanwhile, I guess I could have used the Anchorman “That Escalated Quickly” gif for the featured image, but Victor Caratini looks like a superhero in his Twitter pic.  Seriously, he looks like Iron Man with the chest protector and he’s bulkier than I expected.

As a switch-hitting catcher, Caratini had also played sparingly at third base while still in the Atlanta Braves system.  He hasn’t been at the hot corner since, but does stand at first base every now and then while still with the Iowa Cubs.

In the past, Caratini has had a good walk rate, which has shrunk a bit this season with Iowa as he’s been barreling up the all a lot more (so really, why walk when you can run?).  He doesn’t strike out all that much, and seems capable enough behind the dish.  The boost to his numbers may be a function of both his maturity and to the ridiculous hitting environments of the Pacific Coast League, but good numbers are better than bad numbers.

As for his receiving skills?  Well, here’s one recent scouting profile from BP Wrigleyville:

Before the year started, MLB.com wrote that Caratini “has worked hard to become an adequate receiver and has solid arm strength, albeit with slow footwork and transfer.” So, though there is certainly room for improvement, Birch says Caratini has looked solid so far this year.

“He’s had some balls get by him but he has showed a strong arm and is typically quiet behind the plate,” said Birch. He also noted he doesn’t see him getting shaken off too much by the Iowa pitchers.

John Sickels has a profile as well:

The Cubs are quite conscious of catcher defense at the moment and while Caratini isn’t exceptional against runners (throwing out 28% this year), he’s a reliable receiver and presence behind the plate. He can also handle first base [in] a decent manner although he lacks the speed or range to play elsewhere.

This may make it feasible to keep Caratini’s bat in the mix on days he’s not catching and if Rizzo needs a rest.

While I’d like to see the currently-resetting Kyle Schwarber grab some time behind the dish as well, having a solid backup option who is young and capable in Caratini helps the Cubs now and in the future.  Here’s to a fun debut, whenever Willson Contreras needs a breather.

UPDATE: Official roster move now…

Welcome to the Chicago Cubs, Caratini!

UPDATE 7/3: Miggy is off to Canada!

So the Blue Jays actually took at least part of Miggy’s salary, although I’m sure the Cubs had to eat most of it as a sunk cost. Getting a chance at a PTBNL is a pretty good outcome.

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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