Marcos Aurelio Mateo Lora
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut August 9, 2010
- Final Game October 2, 2015
- Born April 18, 1984 in San Cristobal, San Cristobal D.R.
Marcos Mateo came to the majors in 2010.
Mateo signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004, after being scouted by Johnny Almaraz. He went 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA that year for the DSL Reds. He had a 2-3, 4.30 record for the 2005 GCL Reds and 5-1, 3.20 with a save for the 2006 Billings Mustangs. Marcos was 2-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 41 outings for the 2007 Dayton Dragons. He was then traded to the Chicago Cubs for Buck Coats.
In 2008, the San Cristobal native pitched for the Peoria Chiefs (1-0, 1.20, Sv, 4 H in 15 IP), the Daytona Cubs (4-3, 3.57) and the Estrellas de Oriente (4.91). He split 2009 between Daytona (0 R, 4 H in 9 IP) and the Tennessee Smokies (3-6, 4.07). In 2010, the right-hander bounced between the AZL Cubs (one shutout inning), Tennessee (4 Sv, 2.18, 29 K in 20 2/3 IP) and the Iowa Cubs (0-1, 4.97, 15 K in 12 2/3 IP) before being called up to replace Mitch Atkins in the majors.
In his MLB debut, the 26-year-old veteran entered in the bottom of the 10th, the 6th Cubs hurler, following Sean Marshall. He struck out Juan Uribe but allowed a Travis Ishikawa single. Freddy Sanchez went down swinging but Andres Torres doubles. Tyler Colvin threw out Ishikawa trying to score on the play to keep things going for Chicago. In the 11th, Edgar Renteria and Aubrey Huff started with singles, putting men on the corners. Buster Posey was given an intentional walk to load the bases, then Pat Burrell hit the game-ending sac fly, tagging Mateo with the loss in his first game in the big leagues. Mateo had no more decisions in 20 more outings that year in the majors, finishing with a 5.82 ERA. He struck out 26 in 21 2/3 IP but gave up six homers. In his first plate appearance, he flew out against Dennys Reyes.
Mateo split 2011 between Iowa (1-3, 2 Sv, 6.87 in 16 G, 18 K in 18 1/3 IP) and the Cubs (1-2, 4.30 in 23 G, 25 K in 23 IP). He had Tommy John surgery in 2012, not pitching all year. The Arizona Diamondbacks took him in the 2013 Rule V Draft but did not retain him. He spent the summer in the minors with Chicago: Sv, 2.76 in 13 G for Iowa, 1-0, 1.04 in 6 G for Tennessee and 1-0, 0.00 in 5 G for the AZL Cubs for a 1.74 composite ERA. He struck out 43 in 37 1/3 IP for Iowa in 2014 and fared okay (3-0, 2 Sv, 3.86 in 33 G) but did not return to the majors.
In the 2014-2015 Dominican League, he excelled for the Estrellas de Oriente, with a 1.75 ERA and 21 saves in 25 games (0-1). He struck out 45 and walked only 5 in 25 2/3 IP while holding opponents to 13 hits. He led the league in saves by 9 over Ramon Ramirez, was second in games pitched (one behind James Hoyt) and nearly led in whiffs despite being a reliever (one K behind leader Elih Villanueva, tied with Raul Valdes for second place). For that body of work, he won both Pitcher of the Year and MVP honors. No pitcher had won the MVP in the league since Ken Howell in 1984-1985.