Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Joe Mather rounds the bases and is congratulated by third base coach Pat Listach after hitting a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds at HoHoKam Park. Cubs won 8-6. Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Joe Mather started at third base on Tuesday and played reasonably well (though, to be fair, he had only one fielding chance). Blake DeWitt took over for him and made a bad play and a non-play on consecutive chances.
Today, we learn that Mather has impressed Dale Sveum and could have a pretty good shot at making the team:
"You talk about our lineup and the way our team stacks up, it's a perfect fit when you have two corner guys who are left-handed hitters and your right fielder is a left-handed hitter, and they need days off," said Sveum, projecting Mather could sub in left field for Alfonso Soriano as well.
"He's proven the athletic ability and the baserunning and the bat fits our team to a tee right now," Sveum said.
Mather's major league numbers are... well, not so good. In 294 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Cardinals and Braves he's put up a .228/.283/.384 triple-slash. His minor league numbers are better -- 124 career minor league HR, a .334 OBP and .450 SLG. He had the game of his life last May 21 against the Angels; he smashed a three-run homer in the seventh inning and then hit a game-winning double in the 12th.
We already know what DeWitt can do... sounds like Sveum has nearly been convinced Mather can do better.
A number of you had expressed interest in seeing what a spring training scorecard looks like, so here's mine from Tuesday's game. You'll note quite a few erasures -- that's because the PA system was almost inaudible from where I was sitting, so I tried to check the AtBat app for changes, but they didn't always get them right. Looks like it's spring training for everyone. Eventually, I did wind up getting all the changes correct.
DeJesus rf, Byrd cf, Castro ss, Stewart 3b, Baker 2b, Soto c, Johnson lf, Rizzo 1b, Wells p
Aoki lf, Morgan cf, Weeks 2b, Gonzalez ss, Gamel 1b, Kottaras c, Gomez rf, Izturis ss, Wolf p
No Aramis Ramirez today (and no Ryan Braun, either), but another former Cub, Cesar Izturis, will play for the Brewers; he's in their camp as a NRI.
Today's game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.
There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.
Discuss amongst yourselves.