BOOM: Ian Happ is Coming Back!

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BOOM: Ian Happ is Coming Back!

Chicago Cubs

Ian Happ has been making adjustments all season since being sent to AAA Iowa to begin the 2019 campaign.

First, there was the adjustment to a new reality – one in which the early success he saw in the big leagues was not enough to overcome a miserable second half in 2018, and concerns by the organization that his approach and steep swing were not going to play long-term.

Next, there was the adjustment to being a “minor leaguer” again after nearly two seasons in the Major Leagues.

Next, there were adjustments to his swing to reduce whiffs, and to his approach to promote more attacking.

Next, there were adjustments to reincorporate the power that was lost while working on the swing and the approach.

Next? It’s the adjustment upon returning to the big leagues:

Good timing to lengthen the bench a bit, as the Cubs now face the Brewers, Cardinals, and Brewers in consecutive series.

No one can say for sure that the flow of adjustments up there necessarily means Happ is now perfectly good to go, or that the last three weeks are a representative sample of what Happ can now be. But if you’d charted out what the whole process *should* look like, and then did a best case scenario on how Happ *should* be performing after that process, well, it would all kinda look like it has.

And those last three weeks? .348/.477/.652, 174 wRC+, 19.8% BB rate, 20.9% K rate. Stupid good.

You should expect to see Happ grabbing time right away, most likely in center field, but also possibly at second base, where he has seen a little action at Iowa.

As for a corresponding move, mostly I’m just desperately hoping it isn’t an injured Kris Bryant. Assuming it’s not that, the Cubs could send out a reliever to make room, could finally cut bait with Daniel Descalso (or IL him), could option David Bote or Albert Almora, or could be making some kind of trade that opens up other possibilities. Someone else surprisingly being hurt is also possible. The Cubs could also opt to drop back down to just two catchers.

See? Lots of possibilities.

Stay very tuned and such.



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.