Christopher Morel's Electric Energy and the Plan From Here

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Christopher Morel’s Electric Energy and the Plan From Here

Chicago Cubs

What a fun couple weeks it’s been for Christopher Morel and the fans who’ve enjoyed seeing him do incredible things.

Obviously he kicked it off with the first at bat homer, but since then, he’s posted a 13-game on base streak and a 10-game hitting streak, both quite notable:

Morel is now hitting .286/.386/.469/143 wRC+ through his first 57 plate appearances, all while moving around the field, and making plays like this:

And dropping clutch hits like this:

With energy like this:

I love it. We need stuff like this in a season like this, man.

With Morel on the mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Cubs do with him when the other positional guys are ready to return from injuries (Jason Heyward, Nick Madrigal, Seiya Suzuki, Jonathan Villar, David Bote, Michael Hermosillo, etc., etc.). The obvious answer at this point is “he has to stay.” There isn’t a formulation of this roster where you CANNOT make room for Morel, so it’s not like he HAS to be optioned back to the minors when everyone else is healthy. The Cubs could simply decide to move on from someone(s) else. You’re not really gonna hear me argue against that.

That said, while I would like Morel to stay up with the big club until/unless he shows he cannot stick/clearly needs work in the minors, I want to be a little more nuanced about what the Cubs “should” do.

I think the correct answer on what the Cubs should do with Morel is: he has to be wherever the Cubs see as best for his long-term development.

So if that’s staying up with big team and just waiting for that first stretch of struggling regardless of anyone else getting healthy, great. Do it. I love watching him play, and he’s playing really well! There doesn’t seem to be a clear reason to send him down any time soon!

But if, despite the early success, the Cubs can already see what needs to be worked on from a developmental perspective – they need to be better at identifying that stuff than we are – there might be a justifiable reason to send him to Triple-A (where he hasn’t been this season, and barely has any experience). Do what’s best for the best version of Morel, who isn’t even 23 yet.

To put this another way: what I *don’t* want to see is the decision being made, in whichever direction, based on the Cubs trying to wring out an extra win or two this season. We’ve passed that point, I’m sorry to say. Do whatever is best for Morel in the years ahead, because there could be a very valuable player right there for 2023 and beyond. Maximize that.


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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.