Cubs designate C Miguel Montero for assignment … Recall C/1B Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa
The Cubs said good-bye Wednesday to veteran catcher Miguel Montero. In response to his comments following the embarrassing performance on Tuesday night in which the Nationals swiped seven bases, the Cubs designated Miguel Montero for assignment.
The Cubs still owe him the remainder of his $14 million salary for this season. Montero will likely find a new team as soon as he clears waivers, making the Cubs responsible for the rest of the money.
Montero’s defensive skills, especially controlling a running game, have diminished significantly over the last two seasons. Montero was a big part of the Cubs’ success in 2015 and last year in route to winning The World Series.
Montero delivered two of the biggest hits in the postseason last fall. Montero’s pinch-hit Grand Slam in Game 1 of the NLCS was the winning hit and he delivered the single in the 10th inning of Game 7 of The World Series that was the difference in the Cubs’ 8-7 victory over the Indians.
Miguel Montero will always be a Chicago Cub and linked with the team that finally won The World Series.
The Cubs recalled catcher Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa.
Caratini, who will wear uniform number 20, joins his first Major League roster and will be available for Joe Maddon when the Cubs play the third of a four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
The 23-year-old Caratini is hitting .343 (84-for-245) with 20 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 54 RBI in 68 games for Iowa this season. Named a Pacific Coast League All-Star earlier Wednesday, he has 20 walks, a .384 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging mark, good for a .923 OPS. The switch-hitter owns a .384 average (28-for-73) with runners in scoring position while batting .375 (24-for-64) against left-handed pitching and .331 (60-for-181) against right-handers.
Caratini ranks fourth in the PCL in average, tied for sixth in doubles and seventh in RBI. In 41 games behind the plate this season, he has thrown out 12 of 43 (27.9 percent) baserunners attempting to steal. Named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May after hitting .366 (30-for-82) with three homers and 17 RBI in 24 games, he is batting .349 (30-for-86) with 13 extra-base hits and 21 RBI in 24 contests this month.
Acquired by the Cubs at the 2014 trade deadline from Atlanta for infielder Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed pitcher James Russell, Caratini in 2016 was named a Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star with Double-A Tennessee. He hit a career-best .291 (120-for-412) with a .375 OPS, .405 SLG, a .780 OPS, 25 doubles, six homers and 47 RBI in 115 games last year. In 2015, he helped High-A Myrtle Beach to the Mills Cup Championship, earning series MVP honors.
Caratini owns a .287 batting average (467-for-1,626) with 121 doubles, 11 triples, 24 home runs, 234 RBI and a .367 on-base percentage in 454 career minor league contests since he was originally selected by Atlanta in the second round of the 2013 Draft. He has thrown out 100 of 349 baserunners (28.7 percent) attempting to steal in 288 career games behind the plate, and has also played 67 games at first base in the last three seasons.
Miguel Montero, 33, is hitting .286/.366/.439/.805 (28-for-98) with three doubles, four home runs and eight RBI in 44 games for the Cubs this year. In the three seasons with the Cubs since 2015, the 12-year Major League veteran has hit .242/.342/.395 (166-for-686) with 22 doubles, 27 homers, a .737 OPS and 94 RBI in 243 games.