Overreactionary Hug Watch? Mark Zagunis Late Scratch, Chris Morel Out of Lineup (UPDATE)

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Overreactionary Hug Watch? Mark Zagunis Late Scratch, Chris Morel Out of Lineup (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

It’s that time of year when a prospect or contributor in a chain of other players is pulled from a game or scratched from a game or just doesn’t start a game when you’d otherwise expect him to … and everyone goes on Hug Watch.

Whether literal hugs in the dugout or just the metaphorical embrace of our eyeballs, we’re into trade season, and that means it’s slightly more reasonable to totally overreact about a guy being in one of those situations.

Thus, tonight, with Mark Zagunis a late scratch at Iowa, and breakout third base prospect Christopher Morel not in the South Bend lineup, our radars have gone up for hugs.

To be sure, Morel could just be out of the lineup tonight for any number of reasons, but, given his breakout and huge upside, he’d be among the first lower-level guys I’d ask about if I were a trade partner, especially if you knew fellow South Benders Brennen Davis and Cole Roederer were off-limits.

As for Zagunis, it’s possible he’s a fringe trade piece – the bat clearly plays at AAA, and it’s not hard to see the big league potential – but it’s also possible he’d be a scratch because something is happening at the big league level that will necessitate him heading to Wrigley Field for tomorrow’s game.

I want to be very clear, this is just us mildly freaking because of the time of year and the circumstances of these two particular players. It’s *MORE LIKELY THAN NOT* that nothing is happening. Maybe Zagunis stubbed his toe and Morel just needed a night off.

I’ll give you the STAND DOWN alert if we get it.

UPDATE: It’s not quite a total “STAND DOWN”, but I’m hearing Zagunis sitting is not necessarily related to a trade or a promotion. If that’s correct, and I have no reason to believe it’s not, then all we have is a good prospect down at South Bend having a night off. Again, that’s more likely to be nothing than something.

Welcome to July after the All-Star break!

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.