I mean, this wasn’t even a feasible thought two weeks ago, but right now it’s fact and I still can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Chicago Cubs are better off giving Victor Caratini more starts in place of Willson Contreras.
Of course the caveat is that this is only true for the moment. I’m not saying that Caratini all of a sudden deserves or should be the every day starting catcher over Contreras, but at right now he should be in there more often. And if you’ve noticed, the Cubs have actually been doing that in September, as Contreras has definitely tired and his play has suffered, mainly on offense.
During Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Brewers, Caratini had two huge hits, including a 10-pitch at-bat in the second inning that concluded with an RBI-single to put the Cubs ahead 2-0.
While it wasn’t the hardest hit ball, he got the job done with the infield drawn, grinding out the plate appearance, fouling off several pitches and making contact with a runner at third and less than two outs.
Then, Caratini added an insurance run in the seventh, doubling in Tommy La Stella with a two-out, two-run double.
Since Aug. 28, Caratini is batting .308, with two home runs and eight RBIs.
So far in September, Contreras has a slash line of .150/.261/.200, with two walks and three hits in 20 at-bats. He’s caught more innings than anyone else in MLB, so the fatigue may just be setting in. Also, his power has been down since the first couple months, hitting only nine home runs all season. Contreras’ last home run came on Aug. 1.
So yeah, at this very moment you can make more than a valid argument that Victor Caratini is giving better at-bats for the Cubs than Willson Contreras.
I know, I don’t believe it either, but it’s true.
Hopefully Contreras gets enough rest to turn it back on for the final few weeks because the bottom of the Cubs lineup really does need a boost. But for now, it looks like Caratini is stepping up when the team needs production from anyone.