Could the MLB debut of Matt Mervis be on the horizon?
The Chicago Cubs are off to a great start in 2023. The team is seemingly finding production from all around the diamond – aside from first base. Many are wondering if the team is close to calling up Matt Mervis from triple-A Iowa. Mervis’s OPS in Iowa currently sits at 1.042 to go with 3 home runs.
In the offseason, the Cubs acquired Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini to hold down the position. To start the year, both players seem to be struggling. It should be expected that both players get a more thorough opportunity to contribute. With the rest of the Cubs’ offense clicking, should the team just press fast-forward on Matt Mervis?
Playing 1B so far this season:
Eric Hosmer: 34 PA, .188/.235/.250, 32 wRC+
Trey Mancini: 32 PA, .226/.250/.323, 53 wRC+
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) April 19, 2023
When it comes to the defensive side of things, Hosmer takes the cake over Mancini and Mervis. Matt Mervis’s call-up likely spells the end of Hosmer’s Cubs tenure. Although he’s on a 1-year deal and likely won’t finish the season with the Cubs, he probably would not have signed with the Cubs if he expected to have such a short leash.
Cubs fans may have to be patient with Hosmer and Mancini’s struggles for now. Moreso with Mancini as the team has committed $14 million to him over the next two years. Mancini also has shown the ability to play corner outfield. On the other hand, the Cubs will only pay Hosmer $720,000 for this season. It seems the ETA of Matt Mervis completely depends on how long it takes the front office cut their losses on Eric Hosmer.
What does Mervis bring to the table?
Matt Mervis has been slugging nonstop since the start of his 2022 minor-league campaign. Mervis’s rise to AAA Iowa from A South Bend was meteoric. Last season across the minor leagues, Mervis hit .309 with an impressive 36 homers. His OPS at the season’s end was .984.
Mervis is already up to 3 homers and 13 RBIs this season. Another impressive note on Mervis’s young 2023 season is his K/BB ratio of 9 strikeouts to 13 walks.
His defense is also solid at first base. In 66 games at first base in Iowa, Mervis has only recorded 4 errors. When he is called up to the big leagues, one could imagine that he and Mancini would share starts between 1B and DH. In short, the Cubs’ defense could potentially take a slight hit by losing Hosmer and his 4 Gold Gloves. Thankfully, it seems Mervis has the potential to make up for at least some of that.
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