It’s been a rough start for the Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ. But as of the last few games, he seems to have turned a corner. We’re not going to slide him into the leadoff spot. But it’s good to see he’s making some headway.
Let’s face it. It was a terrible start for the Chicago Cubs‘ Ian Happ. After the home run on the first pitch to start the season, it all went downhill from there. We’re in the first month, and people tend to get a little bit excited about these things. No, we don’t need to send him down. At least, not yet. There’s still an opportunity for Happ to turn things around. And maybe that’s just what he’s doing.
When the Cubs beat the Rockies, 16-5, Happ didn’t get a single at-bat. Not one. It seemed like the perfect time to get him an at-bat or two. But, alas, Joe Maddon didn’t get him in the game. But in the last two games against Colorado and the opener against Cleveland? Happ has gone 5-for-9 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Even better? Happ has struck our just one time.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
- Justin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the Cubs
- The future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs
It’s still early in the season
Three games does not a season make. Then again, neither did the first 14 games he played, either. Happ is a streaky hitter. And one that while he could get it going at the beginning of spring training?
It quickly came to a halt, as he struck out 25 times in his 53 plate appearances. So maybe the leadoff spot wasn’t the ideal spot for him. Maddon may or may not admit to that. But he still has plenty to bring to the Cubs lineup.
One of the biggest sides to this is his aggressiveness. At the top, Happ was taking a lot of pitches. 30 plate appearances started with a 0-1 count. Compare that to 3-0, where he had just two of them.
Happ likes to attack the fastball, yet he didn’t have the chance to do so. Now, he might strike out from time to time. But he’s going to connect with the ball and put it in play. That’s what we need him to do.
Happ can play all over the field. Whereas Albert Almora is stuck in the outfield. The potential to move Happ around, ala another Ben Zobrist, could be a huge plus for him. Maddon could slot him in different spots in the order. The thought of him being a leadoff hitter or bust is crazy. It didn’t work, so we move on.
It’ll be interesting to see what Maddon has in store for Happ. Chances are you won’t see him at the top of the order, too often. But which way it goes could be hard to say. Maybe he just needed a break from the top.