The Christopher Morel experiment is a work in progress for the Chicago Cubs

The Christopher Morel experiment at third base could test the patience of the Chicago Cubs front office and manager Craig Counsell, just as any player taking over a new position would cause some anxiety.

Every mistake Morel makes is likely to get magnified, and if any winds up costing the Cubs a game the debate will begin anew.

The Cubs believe Morel will adapt to the position over time, and appear committed to letting him learn on the job.

“Look, this is about consistency for Chris, and kind of getting him over there every day, getting practice over there every day,” Counsell said Monday. “And then we measure this in little bit bigger chunks to keep improving.

“The reason why you do things like this is it affects other parts of the team, and I think makes the team better in general. But I think he’s getting better. He’s going to have to pass tests, of course. But we’re making progress and we’ve got to keep making progress.

“He’s going to have some bad days. We’re going to have to live with that, and that’s OK.”

Counsell inserted Morel back at the designated hitter spot in Tuesday’s game against the Rockies, with Nick Madrigal starting at third.

Morel hit one of four home runs in the Cubs’ 12-2 romp over the Rockies, and Madrigal drove in three runs and robbed Kris Bryant with a diving play at third.

The Cubs won their third straight on a cold night at Wrigley, but a nicely chilled crowd of 26,555 didn’t seem to mind the conditions. Javier Assad threw six shutout innings for his first win, and with the crowd chanting “Cody, Cody” in the seventh, Cody Bellinger responded by sending the next pitch off the right-field video board.

Bellinger said he usually doesn’t hear fans chanting his name, but this time he did. “Definitely a cool moment,” he said.

Seiya Suzuki and Garrett Cooper also homered in a 14-hit attack.

In his third major league season, Morel has proven he’s a major-league hitter and can energize a lineup at the plate and on the bases. Morel is hitting .381 with what Counsell called “a real controlled aggression.”

“There hasn’t been chase,” he said. “It’s going to make him really dangerous because there is hard, hard contact there.”

Whether Morel can be an everyday third baseman is a question that still needs to be answered, and it could take some time.

Photos: Chicago Cubs 12, Colorado Rockies 2

Morel was charged with his second error at third Monday after letting Kris Bryant’s liner glance off his glove in the second inning of the home opening win over the Colorado Rockies. The official scorer originally gave Bryant a hit but changed the ruling after the inning ended. As the game went on and starter Shota Imanaga continued throwing no-hit ball, Morel was glad the change was made and said it was the right call.

“Shota was doing a great job, throwing a no-hitter for six innings, and I felt great about that,” he said. “I did my best trying to catch that ball, but next time I’ve got to do better.”

Errors are part of the game, and it’s unfair to Morel if every miscue ignites a fan referendum on whether he can stick at his new position. In a perfect world, he would’ve been able to spend a few years learning to play the position every day in the minors. Instead, he played several positions coming up and became a super-utility player.

This year he had one spring training to figure things out. It’s like playing piano at Carnegie Hall soon after learning how to play “Chopsticks.”

The first month of the season, with cold and windy weather, only increases the degree of difficulty. Former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura had three Gold Glove awards by 1995 when he committed eight errors in his first eight games. Things happen. It was a mere blip in a stellar career in which Ventura would win six Gold Gloves.

The Cubs aren’t looking for a Gold Glove from Morel this year. They just want him to make routine plays and improve his accuracy on his throws.

Morel memorably forced a call-up to the Cubs from Triple-A Iowa last May after hitting .330 with nine doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 31 RBIs, a .425 on-base percentage and a 1.155 OPS in 29 games.

“I don’t know that there’s this big path for everyday at-bats,” former manager David Ross said on the day of Morel’s arrival.

Morel proved Ross wrong, forcing his way into the lineup by hitting 26 home runs with an .821 OPS in 107 games. But he was primarily used as a DH (59 starts) while making 21 starts in the outfield because he was deemed a risk defensively.

Though Morel made only four starts at third base in ’23, that was the only position available for playing time in ’24, and Counsell made the big decision at the start of spring.

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Madrigal, an infielder who began his career at second base with the White Sox and was displaced when Nico Hoerner moved from short to second last year for Dansby Swanson, has been helping Morel learn the position. Madrigal had the advantage of being a natural infielder with high school and college experience before the majors.

“I know he’s been in the outfield, infield, all around,” Madrigal said Tuesday. “I honestly don’t know what he came up as, but he’s always been bouncing around. It’s definitely difficult, especially at the major-league level. A lot of action happens there, and when you do get action it’s usually a trickier play. But he’s been working hard and we have a great staff here to help him out.”

President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer concurred that Morel’s work ethic is not up for debate. Morel doesn’t want anything handed to him. But how long Morel has to show he can be the everyday third baseman is unknown.

“He’s made some good plays, and obviously some plays he’s struggled on,” Hoyer said Monday, refusing to sugarcoat the issue. “The way you’re going to get better is by playing. We’ve never given him that opportunity in a Cubs uniform. We’ve never just given him a position and said ‘Go work on it every day, get comfortable and acclimate.’

“The hope is that he continues to get better and better, because I think it is really important that we have to be a clean team. That’s how we’re built. We can’t make a lot of errors. We need to make good plays, we need to secure the ball. Our game plan will get derailed if we don’t do that.

“You saw that (Sunday in Texas). That was a game we really should’ve won pretty easily, and we made a couple misplays that cost (starter Jordan) Wicks an inning or more, cost him a lot of pitches, and cost us runs. It turned a game that should have been lopsided into a closer game. We’re not capable of playing sloppy baseball (and winning).”