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2023 Cubs player profiles: Miles Mastrobuoni

22nd in a series. Miles to go, and miles before I sleep. The utility man is on the Iowa shuttle but might log significant time in Chicago, depending.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Miles James Mastrobuoni is on the Iowa train. Sometimes he’s up with the major-league club, and sometimes not. He’s a versatile player without a position, though he is much better in the infield as a defender. His brother Marcus is in the Rookie League

So far in his career he has had 44 at-bats in the major leagues, with a slash line of .205/.271/.250 (.521 OPS). That’s a very small sample, and doesn’t speak well of his ability to hit, but Games by Position: 2B (2) SS (1) LF (1) RF (6) tells the story. He debuted in MLB September 22, 2022, so this is all relatively new to him.

In his minor-league career, the switch-hitter has a slash line of .288/.371/.397 (.768 OPS), which is decent enough. He’s always been more suspect than prospect, as he was drafted in the 16th round by Tampa Bay, overall pick 420. On November 15, 2022, the Rays traded Mastrobuoni to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Alfredo Zarraga.

That said, he hit an even .300 in the minors in 2022, with 16 home runs, so he’s a bit of a late bloomer at 27. He did go 1-for-2 with a double, three walks and a stolen base in Wednesday’s 7-6 loss to the Astros, and pitched an inning the other day, giving up a LOT of runs in a blowout loss.

He’s likely to be sent back to Iowa this weekend, when Nico Hoerner is due to return to the active roster, and he’ll help out that team, which is doing extremely well at 23-10. Mastrobuoni’s skills are such that he can hang around in his current capacity for another five years or so, or the Cubs could let him go at the end of this year without really missing much. Sergio Alcántara, in his second go-round with the Cubs, provides much the same level of service, and is younger. Mastrobuoni is arb-eligible — the Cubs have control over his finances through 2027.

“I’ve heard so many great things about the fanbase and Chicago,” he said when he learned that he had made the Opening Day roster. “I’m just happy I get to be a part of it and experience Wrigley (Field). I heard it’s an amazing place, and I can’t wait to get out there. I think ‘gamer,’ that’s the one word that comes to my mind; play every inning hard, never take an at-bat for granted, and leave it all out on the field. I want to do whatever I can to help this club,” he said.

The Cubs will probably keep him around as a backup, as he makes the league minimum, and he’s unlikely to ever become a full-time starter. But stranger things have happened, Jake Cronenworth.