Chicago Cubs fans did not have a favorable impression of utility infielder Miles Mastrobuoni at the start of the season.
With the Cubs in need of help in the outfield help to begin the season, Mastrobuoni was forced to play out of position in right field and had some early defensive gaffes that got his tenure off on the wrong foot.
Not to mention, Mastrobuoni struggled offensively during the first month of the season. Mastrobuoni slashed .200/.200/.250/.450 during the first month of the season with a wRC+ of 16.
It appeared to be another instance where the Cubs misevaluated a depth piece for the bench and that has been the reason why fans have rolled their eyes every time that Mastrobuoni has been penciled into the lineup.
Given the recent injuries to Nick Madrigal and Jeimer Candelario, Mastrobuoni has become an everyday player for the Cubs at the third base position and when questioned about Mastrobuoni's playing time, manager David Ross has praised the infielder's offensive approach.
As surprising as it may be, Ross is right.
Mastrobuoni has been one of the Cubs' best offensive players since the month of July. Albeit, a small sample size with only 61 plate appearances, Mastrobuoni is slashing .364/.407/.473 since the month of July with a wRC+ of 143.
It will be interesting to see what the Cubs decide to do this off-season in regard to Mastrobuoni. It would seem that the decision may come down to either keeping Mastrobuoni on the bench or Nick Madrigal. Neither should be considered a starter at the Major League level but each has proved this season that they can be a productive depth piece when healthy. Keeping both would seem to be a waste of a roster spot and Mastrobuoni may have the advantage given that he can play both the infield and outfield.