This morning, a whole lotta rumors started swirling that utility prospect Christopher Morel was going to be coming up to the big league team – spurred on by Morel’s Instagram Story seeming to be him re-sharing everyone in the universe congratulating him.
That is to say, I think this is legit:
¡Rumbo al show!
Morel en AA – @smokiesbaseball tenía una línea ofensiva de .306/.380/.565/.726 | 22CA | 7HR | 20RBI | 10BB | 30SO.
— Rolando E. Fermín (@RollingJr) May 17, 2022
We’ll dig into Morel more soon for those of you who are unfamiliar, but the short version is that he’s a very versatile defender (he can play anywhere) with VERY loud tools. The 22-year-old is hitting .306/.380/.565 (150 wRC+) at Double-A, and is already on the 40-man roster.
It’s that last part that is key to the call-up, I suspect, which is likely to be a short-term fill-in situation. We’ve talked about this before: since he’s already on the 40-man and you’re already getting squeezed so badly, why not just let him come up for a little while (1) to give him a taste of the big leagues, and (2) to reduce the strain on having to make another 40-man move and maybe lose a player you otherwise want to keep?
All that said, the other side of this equation is an open question: if Morel is coming up, who is he replacing? Was there an injury we don’t yet know about? Are the Cubs deciding to let Ildemaro Vargas go? Something else unexpected? Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Well, Morel’s not alone – relief prospect Brandon Hughes is also coming up.