Chicago Cubs News: Mike Tauchman latest example of team's roster misevaluation

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs outfielder Mike Tauchman has delivered the game-winning RBI in each of the team's past two victories over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tauchman was recalled from Triple-A Iowa nearly two weeks ago in place of an injured Cody Bellinger and has been a pleasant surprise during his first stint at the Major League level with the team. Tauchman is slashing .355/.475/.387 through his first 41 plate appearances with the Cubs this season and has compiled a 149 wRC+.

Bellinger is expected to be out for at least another two weeks and Tauchman likely will be the one to man center field during that stretch. Though, even when Bellinger returns, it would seem that Tauchman is playing himself onto the roster for the long-term.

Tauchman, albeit in a small sample size, has also become the latest example of the Cubs misevaluating their roster.

At the beginning of the season, the Cubs were faced with the question of who to play in right field as Seiya Suzuki was beginning the season on the IL. The Cubs, instead of electing to place Tauchman on the 40-man roster, decided to open the season with Miles Mastrobuoni as the first man up for the temporary right field opening.

It was clear that Mastrobuoni was playing out of position in the outfield for the Cubs and his bat wasn't helping either. Since then, Mastrobuoni has moved to a more natural role as a utility infielder for the Cubs but is still slashing .159/.275/.205 through 51 plate appearances this season with a 41 wRC+.

An area that the Cubs have been incredibly poor in over the course of recent seasons is evaluating bench pieces. The experiments of the likes such as Daniel Descalso, Eric Sogard, and Jonathan Villar have failed in previous seasons and this season has been no different with poor production from players such s Mastrobuoni, Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer, and Nick Madrigal. Now, in the long run, a player like Tauchman likely won't make a significant difference in terms of the Cubs' record but with a team that needs to win at the margins in order to be competitive in 2023, it is a difference that highlights the Cubs inability to put the right players on their 26-man roster.

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