After storming back into the National League playoff conversation from 10 games below .500, the Chicago Cubs are slumping at the worst possible time and find themselves on the brink of postseason elimination. After getting swept by the Atlanta Braves, the team now finds themselves one half-game back of the third and final wild card spot.
Although injuries to key guys like Adbert Alzolay and Nick Madrigal have been detrimental, there is still plenty of blame to go around for this disappointing collapse. Here are 3 guys that have not been helping at all in September and have been massive contributors to the skid.
1. Christopher Morel
Similar to last year, Christopher Morel is seeing major struggles in the second half of the season. Although he was worse in August (wRC+ of 47), September hasn't been great either as Morel has a .197 batting average in the last month with only nine runs batted in.
The only area Morel has been okay in is home runs with six on the month. But the 24-year-old slugger is basically the team's designated hitter so he needs to produce at crucial parts of the season like this to be valuable since he doesn't play defense.
Morel's role is uncertain moving forward since the team doesn't seem confident in his ability to play third base. Second base, left field or center field seem to be his best defensive positions and he is thoroughly blocked at all three. Unless the team moves Ian Happ this winter, they're gonna need to teach Morel how to play third base or trade him.