(670 The Score) Cubs utilityman Christopher Morel will start the season at Triple-A Iowa, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said on the Marquee Sports Network on Monday afternoon.
“We just want him to get as many at-bats as possible,” Hoyer said.
Morel, 23, hit .235 with 16 homers, 47 RBIs and a .741 OPS in 113 games as a rookie for the Cubs in 2022. He logged playing time in outfield as well as at second base, shortstop and third base. Hoyer expects the versatile Morel to play a key role for the Cubs at some point in 2023, but he won’t have a regular job in the starting lineup to open the season, which was the driving force behind the club’s decision.
“He’s got to get at-bats, he’s got to play,” Hoyer said. “Having him on the bench and playing once a series or getting three at-bats a series doesn’t make any sense for his development. You use everyone during the course of the season. He’s going to help us a ton, but making sure he gets off to a good start, is playing a lot, playing well, that’s the most important thing. And then when we have a need where he’s going to play a lot, then we can certainly bring him up.”
Hoyer confirmed that Miles Mastrobuoni will make the Opening Day roster, and he’ll serve as a primary utilityman with Morel headed for Triple-A. He has appeared in eight career MLB games. The Cubs acquired Mastrobuoni from the Rays in a trade this past offseason. He has experience in the outfield and at second base, shortstop and third base.
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