Mateo is slashing just .196/.237/.297 with 15 extra-base hits (nine doubles, six triples) over 225 plate appearances across 58 games at Triple-A Nashville. The six three-baggers certainly is an eye-opener, but there's not much else to write home about with respect to Mateo's body of work with the Sounds thus far. After posting .300 and .292 averages, respectively, over a pair of Double-A stops in 2017 with the Yankees and Athletics organizations, the 22-year-old has found Triple-A arms exceedingly difficult to solve. That might be best summed up in his strikeout rate, which has climbed to a career-high 30.2 percent in Nashville, a near-eight-point boost from the 22.4 percent figure he'd generated at Double-A Midland last season. With Marcus Semien playing on just a one-year contract and arbitration-eligible in 2019, there was hope that Mateo could potentially be ready for a promotion by the end of this season. However, if his current numbers are any indication, he'll need substantially more seasoning before that can be realistically considered.
Mateo collected four hits -- including his first two home runs of the season -- before Triple-A Nashville's game against Colorado Springs on Thursday was suspended in the eighth inning, Kelsie Heneghan of MiLB.com reports. Nashville and Colorado Springs won't finish the halted game until Aug. 9, so Mateo's excellent production won't be included on his season stat line until that date. It was easily the best performance of 2018 for Mateo, who had recorded just five hits in 60 at-bats over his prior 15 games to leave his season batting line at .165/.206/.231 through 97 plate appearances. The low on-base percentage has prevented Mateo from regularly putting his premium speed on display, with the shortstop having been limited to four steals (on seven attempts) thus far.
Mateo was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Mateo had a terrific game Tuesday against the Royals. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4, with both hits being home runs. However, with Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien at second base and shortstop, respectively, it seemed likely that Mateo would return to the minors before the 2018 season got underway. After logging a .292/.333/.518 line over 30 games at Double-A Midland following his trade from the Yankees last season, Mateo will have his first chance to play at the Triple-A level.
Mateo (knee) went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's 5-3 Cactus League win over the Rangers. The young speed merchant's long-awaited Cactus League debut was ultimately a dud from a statistical perspective, but all that matters is that he's back on the field. Mateo entered the game at shortstop for Marcus Semien in the fifth and promptly went down on strikes in both the seventh and eighth innings. The 22-year-old is likely to see plenty of reps during the duration of the exhibition slate, assuming there are no further issues with the knee.
Mateo (knee) will enter Tuesday's spring game against the Rangers at shortstop to replace Marcus Semien, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Further solidifying that the infield prospect's knee issue is behind him, Mateo is listed as an available player on the Athletics' lineup card for Tuesday's bout. Mateo aggravated a left knee sprain in late February and missed the first batch of spring games. He'll now be able to play uninhibited with the big-league club before heading back to Double-A for the regular season.