Mateo is slashing .393/.500/.571 this spring with four extra-base hits, six RBI and two stolen bases as he vies for one of the Padres' final Opening Day roster spots.

Mateo has been mentioned as a candidate to back up Trent Grisham in center field, and that need has become more pressing with Grisham currently out with a Grade 1 hamstring strain. The injury is thought to be minor, but it highlights the desirability of a player with positional flexibility. Mateo logged time at every outfield position and at second base with the Padres last season, and he's also played shortstop in the minors. Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune points out Mateo's considerable speed and lack of minor-league options as additional factors that could help him garner a roster spot. The 25-year-old struggled with a .154/.185/.269 slash line in his first stint as a major-leaguer last season, but it's possible that some of his troubles were linked to a bout with COVID-19 that resulted in Mateo missing most of summer camp. He appears healthy heading into the 2021 campaign.

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