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Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ is making it hard to send him back to Iowa

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May 14, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Ian Happ (8) follows through on a double during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Ian Happ (8) follows through on a double during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 17, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Ian Happ (8) catches a fly ball hit by Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Ian Happ (8) catches a fly ball hit by Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) in the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

Maybe the decision isn’t that hard after all

Despite Happ’s strong start, it is unrealistic to think he will stick on the big league roster. Both Jay (.296/.405/.366 in 33 games) and Albert Almora (.271/.326/.400 in 35 games) are off to strong starts while Heyward is showing signs of a bounce back year at the plate.

The only outfielder not performing well so far this season is Kyle Schwarber. The 24-year-old is slashing .188/.312/.361 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 37 games. Perhaps, if Schwarber continues to struggle, he and Happ could platoon left field. That would be a tricky action as Schwarber is the lead-off man for the Cubs, and finding a good choice to replace Schwarber atop the line-up three days a week would be hard.

Taking all of this into account one can see that sending Happ back to Triple-A once Heyward returns would be the best option. Happ, as well as Almora and Schwarber, need regular at-bats if they hope to progress into better hitters.

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