After the Chicago Cubs split a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers this week, the team enters play on Friday six games under the .500 mark on the season and 8 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the National League Central.
Now, more than ever, it would seem that the Cubs will be sellers at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline on August 1. The focus over the next few weeks will be on the potential players that the Cubs could move with the names at the top of the list being starting pitchers Marcus Stroman, Kyle Hendricks, Smyly, and center fielder Cody Bellinger.
But, for the Cubs, there should also be a focus on players that the team needs to give an extended run at the Major League level in order to gather more data before the offseason.
That would be the reason why the team needs to promote first base prospect Matt Mervis back to the Major League level and play him at first base every day, That was the plan for Mervis when he made his Major League debut in May but with his lack of hitting and the Cubs still in a position where they could contend, they made the decision to demote him to Triple-A.
Mervis has found his offensive form in his return to the Iowa Cubs as he has a 139 wRC+ since being demoted and hit his third home run since June 16 on Thursday night.
There is no question that Mervis can hit Triple-A pitching. There is nothing left for the first base prospect to prove at the Triple-A level. The adjustments that Mervis needs to make need to be made at the Major League level and that is why he needs to have an extended run as the starting first baseman during the final two and half months of the season.
If 2024 is going to be the season where the Cubs truly believe they are going to contend, they need to know what they have in Mervis at first base before this off-season. If Mervis does not make the adjustment at the Major League level during these final two months, then the team can plan accordingly to address the first base position this winter.