Chicago Cubs: What is the plan for Ian Happ?

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs bench is thin right now and Ian Happ can play any outfield spot. He has been down at Triple-A Iowa since the season started.

The Chicago Cubs recently sent down struggling Mark Zagunis as well as reliever Rowan Wick. The corresponding move was to call up Dillon Maples and Tim Collins to help out the bullpen. That left the Cubs with just three bench players.

On Sunday, Kris Bryant was playing right field to give David Bote playing time at third base. Bryant was injured when he collided on a miscommunication with Jason Heyward. He was cleared to travel with the team to Houston but it is unknown if there will be any lingering issues stemming from that.

If I am being perfectly honest, the Cubs need to keep Kris Bryant at third base but due to a lack of depth in the outfield, he was forced to play out there. This is where the team misses Ian Happ‘s presence. Many fans were shocked when the team announced he would be starting the season down in Triple-A Iowa.

Happ struck out in 36.1 percent of his at-bats last season and was trending in that direction again in Spring Training. Through 48 games with the Iowa Cubs, Happ is slashing 0.235/0.358/0.406 with six home runs, 11 doubles and 28 RBI’s. He has 30 walks and 52 strikeouts in 200 plate appearances during that time as well.

Happ’s versatility to be able to play all three outfield spots and second base is what is needed right now, especially given the uncertainty of Ben Zobrist‘s return. He recently had a 4-4 game with one home run and 5 RBI’s.

On Monday, the team called up Jim Adduci who is slashing 0.261/0.306/0.478 with seven home runs and 29 RBI’s through 41 games with Triple-A Iowa. He has struck out in 26.1 percent of his at-bats though.

Adduci has some major league experience playing in 59 games last year with the Detroit Tigers and slashed 0.267/0.290/0.386 with three home runs and 21 RBI’s. During his stint with the Tigers, he struck out in 25.6 percent of his at-bats but took just six walks in 185 plate appearances.

He has primarily played first base for the Iowa Cubs this season so I am not sure he is the best fit for what the Cubs need right now. Which then begs the question, what is the plan for Ian Happ? If the Cubs do not feel he is ready yet, what did they see in 34-year old Adduci who walks very little?

Next. Bullpen ruining the “Every Game Matters” motto. dark

This is where Happ’s versatility can be useful and should have been the guy to get the call up. Add to that he takes a good amount of walks. The Cubs might just have to live with his strikeouts for the time being until he either figures something out or they can acquire a long-term solution for bench depth.