First pitch: 3 Chicago Cubs on the September hot seat who are not named David Ross

With the Chicago Cubs fighting for their postseason lives, these three players are struggling at the wrong time.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Cubs player on the hot seat: Christopher Morel

Morel was one of the feel-good stories for the Cubs before the All-Star break, putting together a .267/.320/.572 slash line with 15 home runs. However, since the break, Morel has struggled, including in some big moments over the last two months.

The 24-year-old Morel slashed just .149/.222/.324 in 81 August plate appearances and, while he has improved in September, the numbers aren't that much better. This month, in 60 plate appearances, Morel has posted a .222/.300/.556 slash line.

Bouncing all over the field for Ross, Morel has served as the team's designated hitter and third baseman, as well as seeing time in center and left field over the past five games. During that stretch, he's 5-for-20 with a pair of solo home runs sprinkled in.

Can Ross count on Morel in one of the game's biggest moments? If he can capture some of his first-half magic, absolutely. Otherwise, it's a much dicier proposition for a Cubs team that will have plenty of critical at-bats over the season's final 10 games.

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