Taylor Davis knows exactly where the cameras are at Wrigley Field and now those cameras will be watching him as Willson Contreras' backup for at least the short-term future.
A CT scan Friday morning confirmed the Cubs' fear that Victor Caratini had a broken hamate bone in his left hand and he will undergo surgery Monday. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury and Davis was called up from Triple-A Iowa in Caratini's place.
Davis was informed he might be on the move Thursday evening, after Caratini felt something in his left hand on the first pitch of his seventh-inning at-bat (he later doubled home an insurance run). Davis landed in Chicago at 8 a.m. Friday morning and was in uniform for the series opener against the Angels at Wrigley Field.
With Caratini out until late-May/early-June, the Cubs may opt to look outside the organization for additional catching depth. Davis was the only other backstop on the Cubs' 40-man roster and has just 13 games of MLB experience under his belt. He's only been behind the plate for 6 innings in The Show, but the 29-year-old has spent parts of the last five seasons in Triple-A and has appeared in 299 minor-league games as a catcher.
"I'm probably one of the longest-tenured Cubs here," Davis joked. "Not in the big leagues, but I know most of the guys on the staff, so that definitely helps."
The Cubs also have Francisco Arcia as catching depth in Triple-A, but he doesn't have much big-league experience either (40 games, all coming with the Angels in 2018) and is not on the 40-man roster after signing a minor-league deal over the winter.
"I wouldn't doubt we're probably looking [externally] a little bit," Joe Maddon said Friday morning. "I will say that's probably true. But for right now, we're really happy with Taylor. He's really grown among the group. He's a very good receiver — the guys like him a lot for that.
"Offensively speaking, he comes up with some big knocks, too. ... He's definitely grown over the last couple years. I think he's very comfortable and I know our pitchers are very comfortable with him."
Theo Epstein and the Cubs front office acknowledged they were in the market for veteran catching depth in the offseason, but nothing came to fruition. That may change now, but this injury certainly won't change how the organization feels about Caratini and his fit for the role long-term, especially after the way he started the season (.571 average, 1.647 OPS, 3 doubles, 1 homer, 5 RBI).
"He was looking so good," Maddon said. "He was pretty upset yesterday; he knew how well he was playing. He knew what was going on. It's really unfortunate. It's one of those injuries...they're very freakish. They're taken care of, but they put you down for a bit."
Last spring, Caratini beat out veteran Chris Gimenez for the backup catcher role and spent much of the year in Chicago in that capacity. But he didn't have the type of season most were expecting at the plate while playing sparingly (.232 average, .597 OPS).
This spring, he said he came to camp a lot more confident and with the belief that he belongs in the big leagues.
"He does things quietly," Maddon said. "He's not demanding, he doesn't ask for explanations. He just keeps doing his work. During camp, he wasn't throwing that well and then all of a sudden, his arm just started getting stronger. So he's just one of those guys that continually does his work. He's not flashy by any means, but he's very competent.
"The guy's a good baseball player. The way he's hitting here recently is kinda how he's hit in the minor leagues on a consistent basis. None of it's surprising when a guy starts doing it here. When he's done it before, you shouldn't be surprised. It's just unfortunate. He's done everything so well and right."
Davis' arrival to Wrigley Field continues the merry-go-round that is the Cubs roster so far in 2019.
On Friday morning, the Cubs suited up without six injured players (Caratini, Jon Lester, Mike Montgomery, Brandon Morrow, Xavier Cedeno, Tony Barnett), a trio of guys who have already been sent to the minor leagues (Carl Edwards Jr., Ian Happ, Brian Duensing), and a player on the restricted list serving out a suspension (Addison Russell).
That's not exactly what anybody expected for the April 12 roster.
But all that movement is an advantage for Davis, who already knew his pitching staff from spring training but also got to see Kyle Ryan, Allen Webster and Tim Collins in Triple-A before the promotion.
Regardless of what happens with the roster in Caratini's absence, the Cubs will have to rely on their catching depth for a game or two a week to ensure Willson Contreras gets enough rest.
Caratini may be able to resume baseball activities a few weeks after surgery and will be ready to return to Chicago once he's able to swing the bat without any issues. Even though the injury is to his glove hand, it will not have any impact on his catching.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Cubs easily on your device.