Cubs Officially Promote Christopher Morel, Brandon Hughes
Per Cubs press release…
The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder/outfielder Christopher Morel from Double-A Tennessee and optioned left-handed pitcher Conner Menez to Triple-A Iowa. Additionally, the Cubs have placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the injured list and selected left-handed pitcher Brandon Hughes from Iowa.
Both Morel (uniform No. 5) and Hughes (No. 47) look to make their major league debuts when the Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field tonight at 6:40 p.m. CT.
Morel, 22, has hit .306 (33-for-108) with five doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 20 RBI and a .945 OPS in 28 games for Tennessee this season. The right-handed hitter has batted .337 (28-for-83) with a .974 OPS against right-handed pitching and owns a .303 average (10-for-33) with runners in scoring position. Morel has played 18 games in center field, six games at shortstop and four games at third base.
Morel was signed by Chicago as an international free agent in August of 2015 out of the Dominican Republic and was added to the team’s 40-man roster in November of 2019. He split the 2021 season between Tennessee and Iowa, setting career marks with 110 games, 90 hits, 65 runs, 18 doubles, 18 home runs, 66 RBI and 55 walks.
Since signing with the Cubs, Morel has batted .242 (289-for-1,195) with 52 doubles, 15 triples, 41 home runs and 177 RBI in 326 career minor league games.
Hughes, 26, is 1-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/16.2 IP) in 10 relief appearances between Tennessee and Iowa this season. He has walked three and struck out 22 with a .091 opponent batting average (5-for-55) and a 0.48 WHIP. Six of his 10 outings have been at least 2.0 innings, having pitched a season-high 2.1 scoreless innings twice, most recently May 10 vs. Omaha.
Hughes was selected by Chicago as an outfielder in the 16th round of the 2017 draft out of Michigan State University. He transitioned to the mound following the 2018 season and has gone 5-3 with four saves and a 1.96 ERA (20 ER/91.2 IP) in 58 relief appearances with 31 walks and 124 strikeouts, good for an average of 12.17 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. He has a career .164 opponent batting average and has a 0.92 WHIP.
Heyward, 32, is hitting .208 (15-for-72) with two doubles, one triple and four RBI in 27 games for Chicago this season.
Menez, 26, has appeared in one game for Chicago, pitching a scoreless inning May 13 at the Diamondbacks.