Chicago Cubs: Roster still holds some mystery to it

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Backup Catcher

Willson Contreras is quickly making a name for himself. He has become a very good all-around backstop, and I expect him to continue to grow in 2018, perhaps even earning his first All-Star selection. Still, a solid backup at this position is a necessity, even if only to reduce the wear on the starter.

Most believe Victor Caratini – who led Triple-A in average when he was called up last season – is the man who will serve in this role for years to come. But most also recognize he could use further minor league seasoning to develop defensively. That fact leaves this spot wide open.

The Contenders

Caratini, Chris Gimenez, Taylor Davis, Ian Rice, Ali Solis

The Battle 

Let’s get this out-of-the-way: Rice and Solis are in camp solely to get some innings and protect the others from overuse. They may well have great futures but are both still a long way away from consideration.

Davis has become somewhat of a Cubs MiLB icon and fan-favorite with his silly camera-staring routine, but his bat just doesn’t yet play at the next level. That leaves two, Caratini and Gimenez, as legitimate contenders.

The Verdict

Gimenez. In many ways, this may not be all that fair to Caratini. Gimenez was Yu’s personal catcher in Texas for a time, which gives him a clear edge. Gimenez isn’t known for his hitting prowess (career .218 hitter), but he is known as someone who can call a good game. He brings to the Cubs a veteran presence that will play well far beyond his stats behind the scenes.