The Cubs on Wednesday selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg and Marcos Mateo and added them to the 40-man roster.
Atkins, 23, earned 2008 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors after combining to go 17-7 with a 4.00 ERA (73 ER/164.1 IP) and 132 strikeouts in 28 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He began the year with Tennessee and went 9-6 with a 3.76 ERA (46 ER/110.0 IP) in 18 starts and posted an 8-1 record with a 4.47 ERA (27 ER/54.1 IP) in 10 starts for Iowa.
The six-foot-three, 225-pound Atkins won his first seven starts at Iowa and 12 in a row (June 15-August 14) including his final five outings at Tennessee. He led all Cubs minor leaguers in wins and strikeouts and was named a Southern League mid-season All-Star. Atkins was selected by Chicago in the seventh round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and is in his fifth professional season.
Berg, 24, combined to go 4-9 with a 5.16 ERA (68 ER/118.2 IP) in 32 appearances, 21 as a starter, between Tennessee and Iowa last season. He began the season with Tennessee, where he went 0-3 despite a 3.49 ERA (11 ER/28.1 IP) in five starts to earn the promotion to Iowa. Berg went 4-6 with a 5.68 ERA (57 ER/90.1 IP) in 27 appearances (16 starts) at Triple-A. He is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League.
The six-foot-three, 230-pounder was acquired by the Cubs from the Yankees for outfielder Matt Lawton on August 26, 2005. He was originally selected by New York in the 43rd round of the 2003 Draft. He attended Triton Junior College in River Grove, IL.
Mateo, 24, combined to go 5-3 with one save and a 3.22 ERA (37 ER/103.1 IP) in 33 appearances, 16 as a starter, between Single-A Peoria and Single-A Daytona. The righthander spent most of the season with Daytona, where he went 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA (35 ER/88.1 IP) in 25 appearances (16 starts) after starting the campaign with a 1-0 record, one save and a 1.20 ERA (2 ER/15.0 IP) in eight relief appearances for Peoria.
A native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, Mateo was acquired by the Cubs from the Reds for outfielder Buck Coats on August 30, 2007. He was a Midwest League mid-season All-Star in 2007 while pitching for Cincinnati's Single-A Dayton affiliate. The six-foot-one, 160-pounder was originally signed by the Reds as a non-drafted free agent on March 1, 2004. He is currently pitching in the Dominican Winter League.
The Cubs' 40-man roster now stands at 36 players.