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Cubs injury updates on Caratini, Montgomery

@cdenicola13
April 15, 2019

MIAMI -- Victor Caratini underwent surgery to repair his fractured left hamate bone on Monday. The estimated timeframe for a recovery remains four to six weeks. Caratini sustained the injury last Thursday on the first pitch of his seventh-inning at-bat that he fouled off. A CT scan later confirmed the

MIAMI -- Victor Caratini underwent surgery to repair his fractured left hamate bone on Monday. The estimated timeframe for a recovery remains four to six weeks.

Caratini sustained the injury last Thursday on the first pitch of his seventh-inning at-bat that he fouled off. A CT scan later confirmed the fracture. Caratini went 8-for-14 at the plate in six games to open the season.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon mentioned bringing axe handle bats to Spring Training this year so that guys could try them out -- both to prevent injuries and encourage hitters to stay through the ball longer rather than roll over.

"I'm anticipating all good," Maddon said of Caratini. "It's unfortunate. He was playing so well. He was playing really, really well. He worked so hard, and he had everybody going back to check up on him when he was hurt during the game. He's a wonderful young man. He's going to get better. It's not a career-threatening kind of an injury. It's kind of tough because he was playing so well."

Left-hander Mike Montgomery was scheduled for a rehab outing with Class A South Bend on Tuesday, but didn't end up pitching as his wife gave birth to a baby boy in Chicago. Montgomery is on the injured list with a mild left lat strain (retroactive to April 5). Prior to the injury, Montgomery had given up six runs (five earned) over 2 2/3 innings spanning four appearances.

According to the Cubs, there were no other injury updates for players on the injured list, including Jon Lester (left hamstring).

"They're coming along well," Maddon said. "Everybody's moving forward, but no finish lines on anybody yet."

Strategic return

Kris Bryant started in left field for the first time since March 30 -- the second game of the season -- in Monday's series opener against the Marlins at Marlins Park. David Bote got a second consecutive start at third base.

Bryant had started 11 straight games at the hot corner before a scheduled day off on Saturday. Maddon explained the reasoning behind Bryant in left: Marlins starter Trevor Richards' reverse splits (.260/.336/.458 facing righties, .222/.315/.349 facing lefties in 28 career starts).

"To get Bote in the lineup. [Richards] presents differently," Maddon said. "Big changeup guy, he throws it well to both sides -- righties and lefties -- but can be really difficult on lefties. His splits indicate you want to play righties against him. I haven't seen him yet in person; just reading about him, looking on video. He's kind of an interesting cat, so it's more based on getting more right-handers in the lineup, and we're able to do that. We have a lot of versatility."

Honoring a legend

The Cubs participated in Jackie Robinson Day, as all players, managers, coaches and umpires around Major League Baseball wore the Hall of Famer's No. 42, which was retired leaguewide in 1997.

Since 2004, MLB has honored the anniversary of Robinson’s first game. Monday marked the 72nd anniversary of Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson would have turned 100 years old in January.

Zambrano visits

Former Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, who lives in Miami, visited the team during batting practice. The 37-year-old right-hander recently signed with the Chicago Dogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.