Ian Happ did not turn a double play last night. He did not pitch a single inning. He rescued no starving kittens and saved no drowning puppies. Oh, and he struck out once. That’s about it for the negatives.
Now for the positives. He finished the game 4 for 5, homered twice, and stole a base (his third). His season line now reads .313/.400/.542, with seven of his fifteen total hits coming in the past three games. And he looks pretty good at second base as well. If he keeps this up for a few more weeks, particularly if he can cut back on the strike outs, we could be talking about a mid-season promotion to Tennessee.
I do think it will take a few weeks, though. Happ is in his first full season, and typically we see the Cubs leave players in their first stop of their first full season for 150 PA or so no matter how well they play. There are a handful of exceptions, but most of them involved players that the Cubs were hoping to get to Chicago in a hurry. Regardless of how he is playing, there is absolutely no reason to rush Happ to the majors, so that reason doesn’t apply here. And if we factor in that Happ is still learning second base, I think odds are good that the Cubs will be in no hurry to move him.
But first, before we really need to dive into the promotion discussion, Happ has to keep this up. And by ‘this’ I mean his all around good play, not the 4 for 5, two-home-run performances. We probably shouldn’t expect that sort of thing on a daily basis. Make sure to check out his homers at the bottom of this post.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa started the game, and Ryan Williams pitched one batter, but footing was poor around home plate and the game was eventually postponed for wet grounds.
- Paul Blackburn: 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K. The ERA is now 0.50.
- Corey Black: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
- Andury Acevedo: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 4, 1 BB, SB
- Chesny Young: 1 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB
- Mark Zagunis: 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 2, 1 BB, outfield assist at home.
- Carlos Penalver: 2 for 3, 2B, BB, CS
- Tommy Thorpe: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
- David Berg: 2 IP, 1 K
- Rashad Crawford: 2 for 3, 3B
- Gleyber Torres: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Ian Happ: 4 for 5, 2 HR, SB
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Carson Sands: 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- John Williamson: 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K
- Greyfer Eregua: 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K
- Sutton Whiting: 1 for 4, BB, 2 SB
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 5, 2B
- Donnie Dewees: 1 for 4, BB, SB
- Eloy Jimenez: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Daniel Spingola: 3 for 5, 2 SB
- Matt Rose: 1 for 4, HR
- Andrew Ely: 2 for 4
- Carlos Penalver did not get on base in his first three games and did not have a hit through his first four. When the sun rose on April 11, he has a line of .000/.083/.000. One week later, he now has three multi-hit games in his last five contests and has raised his season line to .211/.250/.237. He’s also just 21, definitely on the young side for Double A. His glove tends to get more credit than his bat, and his future looks more like that of a light hitting utility player than an offensive minded infielder, but don’t lose track of this guy. He probably deserves more prospect credit than he gets.
- As a team, South Bend finished with thirteen hits, five walks, and six strikeouts. Numbers like those will win a lot of games.
- Notice something missing this morning? Normally the player names would provide links to the player page at Baseball Reference, and this morning they don’t. Not to worry. We’re digging into some technical questions on the back end of Bleacher Nation, and leaving the links out this morning is in the nature of a test. It may be a few days before the links come back, or something new arrives to replace them. In the meantime, you may need to use the excellent on-site search feature of Baseball Reference or FanGraphs to get your full fix of prospecty stat-ful goodness.
- Oh, and those two Ian Happ homers – enjoy: