Chicago Cubs: If Baez isn’t healthy for Opening Day, who makes the roster?
Yesterday Cubbie’s Crib’s own Jake Misener wrote about how Javier Baez injury proves how valuable the team’s depth is. Today we’ll take a look at who might take his place on the roster if Baez has to begin the season on the disabled list.
Remember beginning last year the minimum time on the disabled list was shortened to 10 days. If the Cubs could do it over again, I think they would have moved quickly to put a player such as Ben Zobrist on the disabled list with his nagging wrist injury last year. So they might put Baez on the disabled list to begin the season.
In case you haven’t heard Javier Baez current health status is uncertain. On Thursday, March 8th Baez suffered what he originally thought was a cramp. He even thought he could be back in the lineup by as early as Saturday.
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What if he misses Opening Day?
However, Friday Baez underwent an MRI. The fear is that he injured his hamstring. Fortunately, the injury is being called “minimal.” The MRI results came back revealing no serious signs of a hamstring injury. For now, Baez is expected to remain sidelined for a little while. Joe Maddon even said, “…if it were during the season, we’d be a little more aggressive.”
This year there is almost no mystery as to who will make the Cubs Opening Day roster if everyone is healthy. Victor Caratini or Chris Gimenez competing to begin the season as the backup catcher is about the closest thing to an Opening Day roster decision.
And with that issue, it seems to be mostly assumed that the veteran Gimenez will begin the season with the big league club. While he’s there hopefully, Gimenez can also provide some sage advice to help Willson Contreras improve his pitch framing and game calling abilities. Caratini will probably be sent to Triple-A so he can get more playing time to work on his receiving skills and continue to improve as a hitter.