Christopher Morel is going to be the Cubs’ third baseman for a while, despite the errors

Christopher Morel has played in 12 Spring Training games this year.

He’s made four errors.

Extrapolate that to a full season and you’d be looking at (checks notes) about 50 errors, which w

Christopher Morel is going to be the Cubs' third baseman for a while,  despite the errors - Bleed Cubbie Blue

ould be… not very good. Overall, in the 12 games he’s had 24 chances and recorded eight putouts and 12 assists to go along with those errors, which is a fielding percentage of .833. That’s… not very good.

Of course, extrapolating on such a small sample size is a fool’s errand. Morel has alternately looked like he could handle the position and like he shouldn’t be anywhere near a baseball lineup except as a designated hitter.

In this article by Andy Martinez on the Marquee Sports Network website, manager Craig Counsell says this is a work in progress:

Craig Counsell refuses to look at Opening Day as a final exam or end date.

So, when considering Christopher Morel’s play at third base, don’t expect Counsell to pivot off him if he doesn’t look ready. It’ll be an ongoing evaluation throughout the season.

“That’s how I’m looking at it,” Counsell said. “I’m looking at this as we’re making decisions for 162 games.”

I would expect Morel to be the Opening Day third baseman and to remain there for at least a month while Counsell’s evaluation continues. If things get worse, then perhaps a replacement plan will be considered. Also, I would assume there will be defensive replacements for Morel late in games, and with the occasional day as a DH.

There’s the matter of Morel batting .321/.412/.643 (9-for-28) so far in spring games, with three doubles, two home runs and four walks. Granted, that’s also a very small sample size, but we have already seen how well Morel can hit at the MLB level over the last two seasons. That bat plays in a major-league lineup and so if Morel can improve to be even a league-average third baseman, that’s a huge boost for the team. I will remind you that Aramis Ramirez wasn’t a good defender for most of his time with the Cubs, but his bat, obviously, was worth keeping in the lineup.

As always, we await developments.

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