Joe Mather's first spring training in Arizona paid off Thursday when the Chicago Cubs announced that the Mountain Pointe graduate made the team.

Mather's approach to the game, his fundamentals and versatility showed the Cubs that he could be an important part of the bench as first-year manager Dale Sveum shaped the roster to his liking.

Mather, who is a .228 career hitter in 126 major league games, entered Thursday's action hitting .412 in spring training with three home runs, 13 RBIs, four stolen bases and a team best 1.20 OPS in a team-high 20 games.

I believe it is the first time Mather, 29, has made a major-league roster out of spring training.

He believes he has found a home after some uncertainty of late in his career path. Mather spent the first 10 years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals before being claimed on waivers by Atlanta before the 2011 season.

He was called up to the Braves in May last year but was eventually released. He signed with Colorado and finished the year in Triple-A.

Mather had three teams - Houston, Pittsburgh and the Cubs - show the most interest in the offseason as he chose the Cubs.

Finally healed from wrist surgery he had in 2010, Mather has been one of the best Cubs all spring long.

Sveum has been very impressed with Mather after not knowing much about him before the spring started and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get the best shot in the majors in his career.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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