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Cubs swap lefty bench bats, option struggling slugger

3 weeks agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs made a swap to their bench Saturday morning, recalling infielder Miles Mastrobuoni and optioning Matt Mervis.

Mervis had a difficult go of it in his stint in the majors, going 3-for-26 with 1 extra-base hit, a .302 OPS and a -14 weighted runs-created plus.

“Matt struggled,” manager Craig Counsell said before Saturday’s game against the Brewers. 

Facing a stretch of right-handed pitching, the Cubs hoped Mervis would provide a boost from the left-handed side, but his struggles didn’t allow for that.

Mervis was used primarily as the team’s designated hitter. With injuries to Seiya Suzuki and Cody Bellinger, the Cubs had a hole at the DH spot and opted to use the lefty in that role. 

“But in the end we’re DHing him, we’re looking for production and we just didn’t get it and so it’s unfortunate,” Counsell said. “Matt’s produced at a high level in the minor leagues, at a very high level. He just went through a stretch where it didn’t play here and so we’re just gonna go back to the drawing board for him a little bit and then we’re going to try some other guys at that DH spot.”

Mastrobuoni, 28, made the Opening Day roster and appeared in 8 games and was 0-for-12. He had a .754 OPS in 10 games with Iowa. The left-handed hitter will provide defensive help, too, being able to play the middle infield or third base and as a corner outfielder.

He had 13 stolen bases last season and can provide that skill set off the bench, too.

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