The Cubs dropped a stinker at Wrigley Field last night, but still have a chance to win a series against a tough A’s team this afternoon. And they’re finally giving my guy, Ian Happ, a starting shot at second base! Here’s the full group.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Nicholas Castellanos, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Jose Quintana, P
It might’ve been an apparently slow start for Ian Happ at the plate, but he’s actually been extremely productive in limited duty. Through 27 plate appearances this season, Happ has six hits (including a 2B and a HR), six walks, and six strikeouts.
Add it up and you’ve got a fast switch-hitter slashing .286/.444/.476 (148 wRC+), with matching 22.2% walk and strikeout rates.
But despite my belief in his talent, I was slightly more understanding of his role on the bench lately, because of Nicholas Castellanos *and* Jason Heyward just straight up killing it in the outfield (and taking opportunities away from Happ in the process). And since Happ was clearly not being considered at second base, finding starts for him wasn’t easy. Well, Joe Maddon has finally caved, and today, we’ll see what Happ can do up the middle infield. He’s not going to be as good there defensively as he is across the outfield, but I think he’ll be good enough. And if he continues to hit the way he already has, it hopefully won’t matter too much.
Other than that, I believe this is the best possible offense the Cubs can put on the field at once – when Willson Contreras is on the IL – so let’s hope it enough to cover for the banged up bullpen. Go Cubs. Full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).