2 Cubs position players who will start the year in Triple-A and 3 who won't

The Cubs have a lot of young players close if not ready for the big leagues but not all of them can make the opening day roster

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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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Triple-A: 1B Matt Mervis

After the Michael Busch trade, it really doesn't look promising for Matt Mervis' Cubs career. The guy was on top of the world a year ago after a historic 36 home run and 119 RBI campaign in 2022. But that elite power did not translate in Mervis' initial big league effort as the 25-year-old posted a .167/.242/.289 slash line and a wRC+ of 46 in his 99 plate appearances.

While I'm not ready to completely give up on the guy, Michael Busch is now a more logical option for the first base position and the Cubs have a lot of options for designated hitter as well. Mervis looks like an odd man out and I don't think there's much of a chance he makes the major league roster today, let alone if the Cubs add any more free agents.

Hopefully, he can continue to rake for the Iowa Cubs because he still performed well in Triple-A before and after his major league call-up. Maybe his first stint was a fluke or maybe he's just a guy who can't handle big-league pitching. Either way, the Cubs might be able to flip him or package him in a trade.

MLB: CF Pete Crow-Armstrong

It's sort of undeniable that Pete Crow-Armstrong is going to be a good major-league baseball player. He's fast, plays unbelievable defense and if he can prove the haters wrong and become a solid contact hitter, he will be an everyday player. As things stand right now, Pete Crow-Armstrong should start in center field on opening day just for his glove work alone. It's not like Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ are complete slouches in the corner outfield spots, but I'd feel much more comfortable if they had Crow-Armstrong between them consistently.

The problem here obviously lies with the Cody Bellinger decision, because he can also play gold glove defense in center field. Crow-Armstrong is better, but Bellinger's bat needs to be in the lineup and why waste gold glove caliber defense by having Bellinger DH? One could argue to put Bellinger at first base, but the Cubs just traded a top prospect to acquire Michael Busch. Then you could say put Busch at third base but then what do you do with Christopher Morel? Manager Craig Counsell has already expressed a desire to get Morel on the field but where if not third base?

There's still a lot to consider and the butterfly effect of the Bellinger decision is far-reaching so we'll see how things shake out in the coming weeks.

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