Chicago Cubs News: Christopher Morel may be next answer at first base

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Matt Mervis may not be the solution for the Chicago Cubs' first base problem, at least, not at this point in his Major League career.

Mervis has struggled since being promoted from Triple-A Iowa on May 5. In 74 plate appearances at the Major League level this season, Mervis is slashing .179/.257/.284 with a wRC+ of 51. Mervis is striking out at a 33.8% clip while only walking 9.5% of the time.

If Mervis is going to be with the Major League team, regardless of his struggles, he should be in the lineup regularly. The only way that Mervis is going to adjust to Major League pitching is with consistent plate appearances. It should also be worth noting that Mervis has struggled at each level in the Cubs' minor league system upon promotion before figuring things out and, well, mashing.

At 74 plate appearances, the Cubs likely are not at the point where they are ready to demote Mervis back to Triple-A Iowa. For what it's worth, Anthony Rizzo had 153 plate appearances with the San Diego Padres in 2011 before his struggles reached a point where the Padres made the decision to send him back to the minor leagues for development.

The Cubs, for their part, may be preparing alternate first base options in the event that Mervis is sent back down later this season.

Morel, listed on the Cubs' website at 5'11'' and 145 pounds, would not fit the traditional first base profile but if he is able to play first base on occasion, would be another avenue for the team to get his bat in the lineup.

The issue, though, is Morel's bat right now is not a necessity to have in the lineup. Morel is hitless in his last 15 plate appearances and is slashing .167/.268/.444 over his last 41 plate appearances with a 92 wRC+.

Regardless, the Cubs are still searching for an answer at first base and that could be the position to watch if the team is in a position to buy at the Major League Baseball trade deadline.

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