Oh My: Ian Happ Is Coming Up to the Cubs Today (UPDATES: Felix Pena Optioned)

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Oh My: Ian Happ Is Coming Up to the Cubs Today (UPDATES: Felix Pena Optioned)

Chicago Cubs

See UPDATE below. It’s happening. Pun optional. The Cubs’ youngster is batting second and playing right field.

With the Cubs under the strain of injuries and sickness, and with an eight-man bullpen, the team is under the strain of a very limited bench. Without a roster move, the Cubs might literally have just one fully healthy guys on the bench today (with Kris Bryant rostered but out, Jon Jay rostered but having back spasms yesterday, and Addison Russell rostered but limited to pinch hitting duty). In a fairly critical early-season match-up against the Cardinals, that’s not ideal.

So, we mentioned this morning that a short-term roster move for a positional guy might be in order. But I certainly wasn’t going to suggest big-time prospect Ian Happ coming up to fill that gap, given how little time he’s yet had at AAA. I wouldn’t want to get folks’ hopes up like that.

HOWEVA, on a short-term call-up, though, sometimes it’s best to get a little exposure for a guy who will eventually be expected to contribute on a longer-term basis, maybe even as soon as later this season.

And to that end …

So, it’s possible we could see Happ today. He’s not on the 40-man roster, but there’s an open spot right now, making that less of an issue. Given how close he is to being big-league ready anyway, you also don’t really worry about using an option year in 2017. That was probably going to happen eventually this year no matter what.

Happ, 22, is hitting a silly .298/.362/.615 so far in his first go-around at AAA.

We’ll stay tuned on whether Happ arrives or not …

In the meantime, catch up on the Bullets and Eddie Butler’s extremely interesting outing.

UPDATE: Here he comes, folks:

Per multiple reports, Ian Happ is being added to the Chicago Cubs today. The team is still deciding on a corresponding move, but there are several notes like this from the beat writers:

So it might be Zobrist going to the DL (despite everyone else being hurt!) in favor of Happ. The Cubs are the walking wounded right now, so hopefully Happ can be an injection of life.


UPDATE: The Cubs will cling to the hope that their banged up bench can still contribute today, optioning reliever Felix Pena to Iowa to open a spot for Happ (Miles). Here’s the thing, though: if someone winds up having to go on the DL after today, Pena can immediately return (or Justin Grimm, for example). So, for one day, even if it means going down to seven in the bullpen, this is very much the right move.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.