Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the team will explore options for depth at catcher after losing backup Victor Caratini with a fractured left hamate bone. The team recalled Taylor Davis from Triple-A Iowa, though Willson Contreras has caught exclusively without Caratini.
"We've certainly been looking," Hoyer said Thursday morning to the Mully & Haugh Show. "There's no question. Catching is just a position where you're going to have injuries. Like pitching, you know you have to have depth.
"We're comfortable with Taylor and we love the way Willson is playing right now. That said, we don't want to run Willson into the ground."
The Cubs are also planning for the expected return of shortstop Addison Russell, who is eligible to return from suspension on May 3. Hoyer said that Russell has done what the organization had hoped during his suspension time. Hoyer expected Russell will work a minor-league stint in late April.
Closer Brandon Morrow is progressing in his return from a November debridement on his right elbow. While the Cubs have targeted a return for Morrow in May, Hoyer said the team will act with caution.
Morrow posted a 1.47 ERA and 22 saves last season before experiencing the elbow issue in July, which would ultimately end his season.
"Given his injury history in the past, we've tried to take it really slow with him," Hoyer said. "If we can get him back and healthy and throwing the way he can; we don't have that kind of electric stuff in the back of the bullpen, and we can slot everybody else in a little bit better of a place if he's back. We obviously want him back, but we're not going to rush him given his past."
Cubs ace Jon Lester is getting closer to a return from the injured list, this after suffering a left hamstring strain last week while running the bases. Hoyer said Lester has been throwing in the meantime while recovering his hamstring.
The Cubs expect to have a more clear timetable on Lester's impending return by the weekend.