3 Key Takeaways from the Cubs' Series Win Over Mariners

Chicago Cubs v Seattle Mariners
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3. Christopher Morel has Heard the Noise About his Defense 

Christopher Morel
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The young infielder brought his bat to the table in the first few series of the season. His glove already raised some questions after having past issues on the defensive end. While Morel went hitless this entire series, he made a couple of huge plays at the hot corner on Saturday that altered the outcome of the ballgame. 

The spark plug’s claim to fame has never been his defense. However, if he can be adequate in the field throughout the season, it could open plenty of doors within the organization. The staff and front office love the young slugger, and he appears to be here for the long haul. Seasons beyond this one can be impacted by Morel’s glove. Even if it doesn’t correlate to 2024, the farm system would be altered by a close to everyday presence from the 24-year-old at third base.  

This would hurt young infielders in the minors like Matt Shaw, James Triantos, and Jefferson Rojas. All three individuals have been balling out on the farm and could make for great pros. Morel being that everyday guy at third would create a roadblock for these prospects, especially Shaw. The Cubs 2023 first-round choice has dominated at the lower levels and might earn a call-up next year if not late this season. The front office would find a spot for Shaw, but right now the logical option is to slot him in at third when the time comes. Morel’s glove determines whether that becomes a reality or not. 

On the flip side, the Iowa Cubs have a crowded outfield to go along with the big league squad. Names like Pete Crow-Armstrong, Alexander Canario, and Owen Caisse could be show-ready at any time, and there is nowhere to put them right now. Morel figuring out his defense opens up an extra spot in the lineup to maneuver one or two of these young outfielders into the fold in the short term. 

It’s impossible to tell how Morel will wind up at third base defensively, but this weekend certainly turned heads. This big talking point will be something to monitor as the season progresses.

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