Roster Shuffle: Chris Gimenez, Randy Rosario Called Up-Darvish to DL, Caratini to AAA

There were rumblings that some roster machinations coming for the Cubs. The veteran minor league deal was used widely throughout baseball. The Cubs brought in a few of there own, but Chris Gimenez was the only one that was expected to make the roster. Instead the Cubs chose to carry the sweet swinging switch hitter Victor Caratini. Gimenez was sent down to Iowa, but like many of these minor league deals there was an opt-out in the deal. That lead to this speculation:

News was confirmed this afternoon. Before the move was official, it was known to be happening.

Victor Caratini was sent down, but with the 40 man roster full it meant another move was required. Efren Navarro was designated for assignment to make room for Gimenez. Navarro had entered four games in Chicago, and provided a hit in his first at bat. He was hitless in his final five at bats with Chicago. He provided a solid veteran in Iowa, but that isn't worth a precious 40 man roster spot.

Caratini did little to lose the job, but the at bats had dried up for him in Chicago. Injuries, particularly Anothny Rizzo's DL trip, provided extra opportunities for Caratini to start, but his last start was in the double header nearly ten days ago. He has a mere 13 plate appearances since May 9, and the slash line has tumbled during this stretch with a .154/.154/.154 slash line. The move makes sense with the Cubs stockpile of young hitting talent in the upper minors nearly exhausted. The move allows the Cubs to keep two players that are valuable bench options because Gimenez would have had little difficultly finding a job on June 1.

Now some speculated that Gimenez was called upon to help under performing Yu Darvish. There was a lot said during spring training to try to dispel the notion of Gimenez being Darvish's personal caddy. Gimenez is a well liked defensive catcher, and was vocal about his efforts to help recruit Yu. But Gimenez has only caught 12 of Darvish's 139 career MLB starts, and Darvish made it clear he was happy having Willson Contreras behind the plate (and in the batter's box too) on days he starts. I certainly bought into the notion that Gimenez would be catching Darvish tomorrow night.

However, that notion was quickly dispelled with Darvish headed to the 10 day DL for the second time in 2018.

Darvish first DL trip was due to illness. He left his second to last start early due to leg cramps. This is the first time Darvish is missing time due to an arm injury, and so there is a bit of nervousness with any arm injury. That nervousness is increased with a pitcher having Tommy John surgery not that long ago. However, tricep tightness might be the best prognosis with any arm injury with it not being shoulder, elbow or forearm related. So there is reason to be optimistic that this injury will just require rest.

The early news of Gimenez working with Tyler Chatwood turned out to be prophetic. Chatwood should slot into the Sunday start as he is on normal rest with the offday Thursday. The Cubs will need another starter as well. Monday is currently listed as to be announced but Jon Lester would be on normal rest. Adbert Alzolay threw Thursday putting him in line for a Tuesday start but was roughed up for the third straight outing. Mike Montgomery hasn't thrown since May 22, and so a potential start Monday or Tuesday might be in order for the Cubs super utility pitcher.

The Cubs tipped their hand with the Chatwood start by calling up a reliever in Randy Rosario. He was impressive in his one outing with a much needed two scoreless innings. As is so often the case when you are a releiver with options making an extended outing like that he was quickly sent back to Iowa. Rosario has been good in Iowa as well, and so another look at the lefty is welcomed as the team could use a reliable, cost controlled southpaw out of the pen.

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  • I'm nervous about Darvish. He has rarely been "right" and this is his second DL stint with the season barely a quarter of the way done. I hope they can get him on the right track in time for the stretch run, but I'm still worried.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I’m sure we all are. And they have him for five more years at $25m a season.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    And injuries are typically how albatross contracts start unfortunately. I'll feel a lot better if he only misses a start or 2 though this could just be a precaution we don't have enough information at this point

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