Another day, another left-handed home run for the switch-hitting Ian Happ. This one he pulled into left center, and he got all of it:
That’s Happ’s league-leading sixth homer already on the young season. He’s played in just 11 games.
Predictably, articles are starting to emerge suggesting the Cubs could trade Happ for Major League help. And that is true, although it has been true for about a year now, and the truth of it has absolutely nothing to do with the recent struggles of the Major League team.
There are basically two ways a good prospect can help out a big league team. One is by being promoted to the team and contributing there, and the other is by being traded for someone who can help the team. Either works, and the Cubs have been very willing to do both in recent years.
And we also know that in the Cubs’ system, no prospect is entirely untouchable (although I’d argue Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease are coming as close as possible to that status right now). Happ, despite his offensive prowess and potential for defensive flexibility, is about as tradable – in terms of value and role – as any prospect in baseball.
But don’t expect any trades soon. Major trades – and any trading involving Happ would be major – rarely happen in April. The Cubs could try to strike early with a deal in May, but more likely we will be into summer before anything happens on the trade front.
And when it does, don’t be surprised if Happ stays put. After all, a switch-hitter who can play both infield and outfield would give Joe Maddon some extra flexibility when he looks to rest some of his starters through August and September, and that could be about as valuable as any late season acquisition. As we saw last year, entering October with a healthy, well-rested roster is a very nice thing indeed.
Plus, you never know when injury will strike, and having a ready-to-go upper-level impact prospect in house is a great thing.
- Eddie Butler: 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Rob Zastryzny: 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB
- Pierce Johnson: 1 IP, 1 H
- John Andreoli: 1 for 3, BB
- Ian Happ: 2 for 4, HR. That’s six homers for Happ.
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 2, BB
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee had the day off.
- Adbert Alzolay: 5 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 7 H, 4 K
- Tommy Thorpe: 2.2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 K
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 4, 2B
- Trent Giambrone: 3 for 4
- Matt Rose: 1 for 4, HR
- Jesse Hodges: 2 for 4, 2B
Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend also had the day off.
- Connor Myers had no hits for the Pelicans, but he collected two outfield assists. One was at home, the other at first. Remarkably, the assist at first came after a diving catch in medium depth left center. There was a bit of bad baserunning making that play possible, but it was still a very nice play: