The day after backup catcher Taylor Davis had his "unlikely" hero moment, the Cubs got more good news on the overall state of their catching depth.
Victor Caratini took batting practice at Wrigley Field before Sunday's game, the first time he has done so since he underwent surgery to fix the broken hamate bone in his left hand April 15.
Caratini initially had a 4-6 week timeline and also played catch Sunday afternoon, so he and the Cubs are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in his recovery. The 25-year-old got off to a red-hot start, collecting 4 extra-base hits in his first 6 games to go along with a .571 batting average.
The Cubs like Caratini's defense and burgeoning rapport with Cole Hamels, but they also like Davis' abilities behind the plate and feel comfortable with their current situation behind Willson Contreras. The schedule has been a major assist, as Saturday marked only the second start for Davis since Caratini went down, with Contreras getting so much rest naturally from the Cubs' scheduled off-days. However, the schedule is not as kind moving forward, as the Cubs have only two off-days between now and June 17.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Joe Maddon hopes Daniel Descalso could be available to pinch-hit in Sunday's game and then be ready to rejoin the lineup Monday night against the Marlins. Descalso — who is emerging as a mainstay at second base and in the leadoff spot atop the Cubs' batting order — injured his ankle Saturday rounding first base on a base hit in the first inning.
Mike Montgomery is recovering from a strained lat that has kept him on the shelf since the first week of April and he threw a bullpen Sunday at Wrigley Field. He tossed 6 innings and threw 76 pitches for Triple-A Iowa in a rehab start Friday, though the Cubs don't have a set plan in place for next steps for the 29-year-old left-hander.
Xavier Cedeno is also nearing a return, as the veteran southpaw is slated to throw in a scheduled back-to-back, with an outing in Triple-A Sunday night and Monday. He missed all of spring training with a wrist injury, so the Cubs are trying to simulate an entire training camp's worth of work. They also don't have a dire need for the 32-year-old in Chicago, as Kyle Ryan has filled the lefty role in the bullpen admirably the last few weeks.
The Cubs have a maximum of 30 days to use on a rehab assignment and Cedeno's clock runs out sometime in the next week.