CHICAGO -- All Joe Mather's done since Spring Training is impress Dale Sveum, and the Cubs manager plans to take advantage of Mather's hot bat for as long as he can.
Mather batted third in the Cubs' lineup for the eighth straight day in Wednesday's series finale against the Padres at Wrigley Field, as Sveum continues to add power to the lineup however he can.
Mather entered Wednesday with the second-highest slugging percentage on the team (.486) and knocked two doubles in Tuesday's win. He's produced a .320/.370/.440 slash line during the last eight games while splitting time at third base and in the outfield, getting the start Wednesday in center.
"Just going to see if he can spark the team now and do some things," Sveum said. "Since I've put him in there, he's pretty much had a quality at-bats, hit some balls really hard right at people."
As Mather has provided the Cubs with extra pop, speedster Tony Campana has been relegated to the bench. The 26-year-old center fielder has played well -- hitting .299 with 13 stolen bases in 32 games -- but hasn't started since May 21.
Sveum said Campana is simply the odd man out as the the Cubs search to add power to their lineup.
"I thought I'd put somebody in there that might juice the team with a home run, or a three-run homer or two-run double, something like that. Unfortunately for Camp, like I told him, he's just a victim," Sveum said. "If it were a complete powerhouse offense or something, he could play every day in center field. But we just need more slugging percentage out of [that] position."