Victor Caratini is back in the lineup 5 weeks to the day after breaking his left hamate bone against the Pirates on April 11. The switch-hitting catcher batted .267 with a pair of doubles in nine minor league games between South Bend and Iowa, but did not record a hit in 12 at-bats from the right side. It’s a small sample, but could be significant because the hamate is near the knob of the bat when swinging righty.
At the same time, his greatest value to the Cubs is from the left side because it allows them to better platoon with Willson Contreras. The starting catcher is off to the best offensive season of his career, but it’s going to be very important for Joe Maddon to get him plenty of rest as the summer heats up.
Caratini should be able to do that, as he was hitting .571 with a 1.647 OPS prior to his injury. Yeah, I know that’s unsustainable, but he’s shown he can handle the stick at all levels of the minors and the pitching staff seems to like him.