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Cubs recall catcher Victor Caratini, DFA veteran Chris Gimenez

The Cubs on Wednesday morning bolstered their lineup by swapping out backup catchers, recalling switch-hitting Victor Caratini from Class AAA Iowa, who was hitting .313 with an .887 OPS in 32 games since being optioned from the big-league roster in May.

Veteran Chris Gimenez, the one-time personal catcher of Yu Darvish, was designated for assignment to make room for Caratini.

Gimenez was 4-for-28 in 12 games for the Cubs since being called up from Iowa when Caratini went down. He was signed as a minor-league free agent over the winter.

The Cubs have 10 days to trade or waive Gimenez.

Reunited: Caratini hugs starting catcher Willson Contreras after a victory in May.

“Victor’s been doing really well,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Victor also provides the stability at first base that you like, too. The bat. When we put hi m back behind the plate, we like a lot how Victor catches. And beyond that, the switch-hitting ability – and he’s hitting well.”

He started at first base Wednesday for Anthony Rizzo, who got a scheduled day off.

Caratini, who made his big-league debut last season, made the Opening Day roster this year and hit .262 before his demotion, which was necessitated in part by Gimenez’s contract status, which required a promotion or release near that date.


The Cubs’ 40-man roster is now at 38.

The move comes as the Cubs take a five-game winning streak — tying their season high — into the second game of a two-game series against the Tigers on Wednesday.

They’ve averaged 10.2 runs per game during the streak.

The Cubs entered Wednesday one game behind first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central, with the third-best record in the league (48-35).