Christopher Morel of the Chicago Cubs announces his last season with the Cubs might he be done with the…..

As the Chicago Cubs strive to break free from the middle pack of teams in the National League, the lineup position of third baseman Christopher Morel remains uncertain.

According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Cubs have “evaluated alternatives” to the 24-year-old Morel and are considering the prospect of Matt Shaw eventually taking over.

Morel’s primary challenge has been his defense at third base. With a minus-eight defensive runs saved, he ranks fourth-worst among all qualified players at any position this season.

BaseballSavant.com reports that Morel is in the first percentile in outs above average over 393 innings at third base.

Additionally, Morel’s offensive performance has declined this season. He was expected to be a key player in the lineup after hitting 26 homers and slugging .508 in 107 games during the 2023 season.

While consistent contact has never been his strength, Morel demonstrated last year that he could hit effectively enough to make a significant impact.

This season, Morel has improved his plate discipline, increasing his walk rate from 8.4 percent to 12.6 percent and decreasing his strikeout rate from 31.0 percent to 21.9 percent from 2023 to 2024.

However, some of this improvement has seemingly come at the cost of his power, which was a highlight of his potential. He leads the Cubs with 12 homers but has a slugging percentage of just .388.

Power hitting has been a concern for the Cubs this season. Seiya Suzuki is the only regular player slugging over .450, with Michael Busch and Cody Bellinger being the only other regulars slugging above .400.

Shaw, the No. 3 prospect in the Cubs’ system according to MLB.com, is hitting .225/.345/.366 with six homers and 15 stolen bases in 54 games at Double-A.

The Cubs might also consider trade options, although significant trades impacting the pennant race are rare this far from the deadline.

Currently, Chicago (32-34) is tied with the Cincinnati Reds for second place in the NL Central, trailing the San Francisco Giants by just one game in the loss column for the final wild-card spot.

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