With small injuries plaguing the Chicago Cubs, they’ve called up No. 2 prospect Ina Happ on a short-term basis to fill in the gaps. Jon Lester will take the ball for the Cubs, facing off against the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez.
Injuries are never good for a team. But in the case of the Chicago Cubs, they often present opportunities for those who might not have them. Ian Happ is the one who will benefit this time as the Cubs called up their No. 2 prospect ahead of today’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
With Kris Bryant out with a stomach bug, Jon Jay and Ben Zobrist dealing with back issues– and Addison Russell limited with his shoulder–the Cubs (18-17) needed reinforcements. The infield now looks completely different as it’s Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella, Jeimer Candelario and Anthony Rizzo in the lineup today. Happ will start in right field and bat second.
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To make room, the Cubs sent Felix Pena back down to Iowa. The bullpen once again sits at seven but is well-rested thanks to some solid starting pitching over the last week. Lester (1-1, 3.27) will face off in an Opening Day rematch against the Cardinals'(19-15) Martinez (2-3, 3.86). Lester last worked in the 18-inning marathon against the Yankees, allowing just one run in seven innings.
With the call up of Happ, three players that were starting for Iowa last week (Happ, Candelario, La Stella) are in the Cubs’ lineup this afternoon. The Cubs offense is still a little slow to get going, and are missing two of their hottest hitters in Bryant and Jason Heyward (DL). But with the pitching not allowing the Cubs to immediately fall behind, things are looking up for the North Siders.
The Cardinals had gone 6-0 on their road trip as they came back home, but the Cubs ended that streak with yesterday’s win. The Cubs pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Cardinals and can close the gap with another win today.
Here are the lineups for today’s action:
The television coverage will be provided by ABC 7 and FS1, while the radio broadcast will be carried by 670 The Score. Be sure to check back throughout the day and game for more Cubs news and info!