The Cubs are designating veteran first baseman Trey Mancini for assignment, as noted by Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM. BleacherNation’s Michael Cerami was first with the news that Mancini would be removed from the roster. Mancini’s departure coincides with the impending return of third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who will now join the active roster following the Cubs’ deal to re-acquire him from the Nationals yesterday.
Mancini, who signed a two-year deal with the Cubs this past offseason, sees his tenure in Chicago come to an end after less than a full season. It’s been a brutal season at the dish for Mancini, who has slashed just .234/.299/.336 in 263 plate appearances with the Cubs this season, a line good for a well below-average wRC+ of just 74. That limited production has come while Mancini has spent time at first base, in right field, and as the club’s DH this season, grading well below average defensive at the former two positions.
Mancini’s struggles at the plate date back to a mid-season trade that sent him from the Orioles to the Astros last year. In 51 regular season games for the 2022 World Series champions in Houston, Mancini struggled mightily to a .178/.258/.364 slash line. That performance in Houston was hampered by an unsustainably low .191 BABIP, but no such misfortune plagues Mancini in Chicago, where his wOBA (.280) was actually higher than his xwOBA (.270) and his .327 BABIP was slightly above his career mark of .313.
Candelario, Patrick Wisdom, Miguel Amaya, and Cody Bellinger are all options for the Cubs at first base currently on the major league roster, with first base prospect Matt Mervis waiting in the wings at Triple-A. Mervis struggled to adjust to big league pitching earlier this year in 99 trips to the plate, but has slashed .297/.400/.553 for his career at the Triple-A level, leaving room for optimism he could contribute at the big league level in the future.