Cubs Roster Profiles: Marcos Mateo


As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Marcos Mateo.

With some players, reaching the majors is itself an accomplishment. Marcos Mateo might be one of those players. He spent parts of five seasons in the minors before he ever emerged out of the A-level leagues. At age 25 he got his first taste of Double A. Despite all that, he broke into the majors at the age of 26. His time in the majors has not been remarkably good, but it hasn’t been remarkably bad either. Unremarkable might be the best way to describe Marcos Mateo’s major league career as we head into 2012.

2011 Recap
What we saw from Mateo during his 2011 stint in the majors is typical of what I think we can expect from Mateo in the future. He won’t give up many home runs and he’ll walk more than I would like, but he offsets that with a high K/9. He will give up hits, and when you combine that with his somewhat elevated walk rate, you have a pitcher will often put people on base. He is not someone you want to bring into a game with the bases loaded and one out. On the other hand, he might be just the guy to pitch the sixth. He can be effective, but he isn’t likely to scare anyone. Mateo projects as a roughly league average reliever. Even so, he could hang around the majors a long time.

2012 Outlook
I think there is a very good chance that Mateo will not be a Cub for much longer. In 2012, he will be 28. The Cubs are reloading, and reloading teams do not have much use for a 28 year old league average right handed reliever. With younger pitchers like Rafael Dolis and Alberto Cabrera lurking on the horizon, Mateo is going to have a hard time holding on to his roster spot over the coming season. The good news is that I expect he will be able to hang on for years to come somewhere in baseball. A decent middle reliever who is willing to jump between AAA and the majors can just about always find work in baseball. So long as he can avoid the long ball and earn enough strikeouts to stay out of trouble, Mateo will have a roster slot somewhere. I just do not think he will be a Cub for very much longer.