Cubs give slugging prospect one more chance with latest call-up

The Cubs are set to give one of their top slugging prospects one more chance to prove himself at the MLB level with his latest call-up.
May 23, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis (22) celebrates after
May 23, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis (22) celebrates after / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

How to deal with prospects who fail at the MLB level when called up for the first time is always tricky. The Chicago Cubs have had to figure out how to do that with Matt Mervis.

Mervis earned an early-season call-up last season after slugging 36 home runs with 119 RBI in the minors in 2022 and getting off to a hot start in Triple-A in 2023. Unfortunately, in his month plus of action, he slashed .167/.242/.289 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 99 plate appearances.

Mervis continued to mash in the minors and got off to a great start this season, but the question of whether he can hit at the MLB level remains a real one. The Cubs are giving Mervis another chance to prove himself with their latest promotion.

Cubs give Matt Mervis another chance at MLB level following latest call-up

Mervis simply earned another look at this point. The 26-year-old has slashed .288/.402/.606 for Triple-A Iowa with five home runs and 13 RBI in 18 games. He has nothing else to prove in the minors offensively. It's on him to show that his game can translate to the majors where he struggled in his first chance.

While Michael Busch has established himself as Chicago's first baseman of the present and future with his torrid start to his Cubs career, Mervis has an opening to fill in at DH. Christopher Morel has been playing third base fairly regularly, and the Cubs don't have a clear answer at the DH position. Morel and Garrett Cooper have been garnering most of the DH at-bats. Cooper especially is extremely replaceable.

The Cubs enter play on Tuesday ranked 23rd with a 94 WRC+ from their DHs this season. That's a number that needs to be much higher from a position that doesn't do any fielding. Cubs DH's have just one home run. Again, this is a perfect fit for Mervis, who simply has to hit home runs to stick.

This is a big opportunity for Mervis to earn his spot in the Cubs lineup. If he performs, the Cubs have their DH solution. If he doesn't, that opens the door for Morel to potentially return to DH duties, or for the Cubs to try and go out and acquire another bat. He should see fairly consistent playing time, at least against right-handed pitching. It's on Mervis to capitalize.