Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs' Mather impressive in bench-job battle

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Joe Mather has two weeks left to fend off guys like Tony Campana and Adrian Cardenas for the final bench job.

But he has made a strong impression on manager Dale Sveum and a coaching staff that includes Dave McKay, Mather's old first base/outfield coach for years in St. Louis.

``I think I've been able to put myself in a good position, at least to make the decision difficult for some people,'' said the versatile Mather, whose latest impression was made with a game-winning homer Sunday in Las Vegas against the Texas Rangers.

``There's a lot of good players in here, so I don't think anyone can take anything for granted,'' he said. ``All we an do is play well and put ourselves in position to make the team.''

Mather, 29, a .228 career hitter in the big leagues with nine homers, is trying to stick in the big leagues for a full season for the first time in a career.

He has hit well all spring, earned raves for his base-running ability and played five positions: first base, third base and all three outfield spots.

He's in the lineup Monday playing first base against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz.

``I could probably play the middle if they needed me,'' said the kid who grew up a shortstop but whose coach/dad thought it wise from early on to teach the kid to play every position.

``I don't think I played the same position two years in a row since maybe middle school,'' said Mather, who has played six positions in the big leagues (including a two-inning appearance as a pitcher two years ago). ``My dad moved me around a lot. He said it would be a good idea. And I'm glad he did.''


Cactus League game vs. Seattle (in Peoria)
RF DeJesus
2B Barney
SS Castro
LF Soriano
3B Baker
CF Byrd
DH Johnson
1B Mather
C Castillo
PITCHING: Travis Wood

`B' game vs. Cleveland (in Goodyear)
CF Campana
2B Cardenas
RF Sappelt
1B Rizzo
LF Szczur
Ss Lake
3B Vitters
C Lalli
DH Brenly
PITCHING: Randy Wells

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1 Comment

I watched him yesterday and really liked what I saw. Campana really only has speed, and I know little about Cardenas. Maybe he will turn out a bust, but at this time I would think he has earned the choice.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on March 19, 2012 2:24 PM.

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