After he had spent the first two months of the 2018 season on the active 25-man roster, Victor Caratini was optioned to Triple-A Iowa May 26, with Chris Gimenez added as the Cubs’ backup catcher.
The given reason for this at the time was for Caratini to get more regular playing time.
And now, Caratini is back:
#Cubs recall catcher Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa. Catcher Chris Gimenez has been designated for assignment. 40-man roster now 38.— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 4, 2018
Caratini hit .313/.409/.478 (36-for-115) with four home runs in 32 games at Iowa. Gimenez was a disappointment, hitting just .125 (4-for-32), and the team was 4-5 in games he started. Joe Maddon has consistently desired veteran backup catchers in his time as Cubs manager, but it just didn’t work out with Gimenez. The fact that he caught Yu Darvish 12 times for the Rangers a few years back was way overblown in terms of what it meant for Gimenez to be with the Cubs, and Darvish is out until (presumably) after the All-Star break anyway.
I would imagine with the weather getting warmer, we’ll see Caratini getting more playing time with the Cubs as Joe tries to get Willson Contreras more rest.
The departure of Gimenez also opens a 40-man roster spot. As noted above, the 40-man roster now stands at 38. This doesn’t necessarily presage a trade; if, for example, Eddie Butler were to return to the active roster, he’d need a 40-man slot as he’s currently on the 60-day DL.