SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Last spring, Joe Mather was the surprise player in Cubs camp, batting .382 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 26 games. He won a spot on the 25-man roster with his play.
Brian Bogusevic could be next.
"He's been the Joe Mather of camp so far," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Bogusevic, who was batting .533 in eight games.
A left-handed hitter, Bogusevic could be valuable, especially if he could not only play outfield but back up at first if needed.
"The at-bats he's put together, the at-bats he's had against left-handed pitching [have been good], and he has a pretty good track record in the big leagues as a pinch-hitter as well," Sveum said. "He's the leader in camp right now with everything. I've been impressed with his outfield play, his arm. I know he can play the outfield, so I'm going to get him as much time as I can at first base. He said he's not super comfortable there."
Last season, the Palos Heights, Ill., native batted .203 in 146 games with the Astros, and hit .242 as a pinch-hitter. Mather was outrighted to the Minor Leagues, and became a free agent, eventually signing a Minor League contract with the Phillies. He batted .209 in 103 games with the Cubs.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.