Cubs will keep versatile Christopher Morel at Triple-A Iowa for now

President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer says there really isn’t an opportunity for Morel to get a lot of playing time in the majors at the moment.

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Morel is batting .343 with 11 home runs, 28 RBI and a 1.232 OPS in 117 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa.

Abbie Parr/AP

Barring an injury, a major-league promotion for versatile Christopher Morel will have to wait for a while.

The Cubs’ roster, finally balanced with four outfielders, a stable infield and two healthy catchers, doesn’t provide ample playing opportunities for Morel, who is batting .343 with 11 home runs, 28 RBI and a 1.232 OPS in 117 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa.

‘‘When there’s a path to playing a lot, I think there’s no question he’ll be up here,’’ president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Friday. ‘‘His rallies sparked us last year. I know he can have an impact, but we want to make sure he’s coming and playing every day.

‘‘The roster is really balanced right now, and hopefully we get [catcher] Yan [Gomes] back soon.’’

Morel, 23, provided a spark early last season but tailed off and struck out 137 times in 425 plate appearances with the Cubs in 2022. He has split his time in Iowa between third base and all three outfield positions.

Justin’s justification

Left-hander Justin Steele limited the Marlins to one run in seven innings for the second time this season. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 consecutive starts — dating to July 22, 2022 — tying him with Braves left-hander Max Fried for the longest active streak in the majors.

Steele also didn’t walk a batter, marking the sixth consecutive outing he has issued two walks or fewer.

‘‘He knows what he’s doing,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘He knows how to attack the hitters. And he’s coming right at you. It doesn’t feel like anyone is in rhythm with him.’’

All about the team

The promotion of first baseman Matt Mervis from Iowa will relegate veteran Eric Hosmer to a part-time role.

‘‘He is here to win, here to support, here to help,’’ Ross said of Hosmer, who was batting .250 with a .363 slugging percentage. ‘‘He’s a professional through and through and wants what’s best for the group.’’

Third baseman Edwin Rios was optioned to Iowa to get more playing time. Rios had only 25 plate appearances with the Cubs and played only two innings at third base.

Injury update

Pitcher Kyle Hendricks (strained right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session before the game Saturday. Reliever Codi Heuer (Tommy John surgery) will make his first rehab appearance Saturday for Iowa. Gomes (concussion) performed baseball activities before the game Friday.

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