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

Cubs' Mather impressive in bench-job battle

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

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.''

TODAY'S LINEUPS

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

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/46202

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.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

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

Cubs' pitching plans under the weather was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs' Marmol after MRI: `I feel great.' is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.