The Chicago Cubs will send out Ian Happ in place of third baseman Kris Bryant. Can the young slugger keep it going?
On Sunday, the Chicago Cubs will start Ian Happ over Kris Bryant. Joe Maddon has said that he wants to give his starters a rest here and there, and ‘getaway’ day is the perfect time to do so. ‘Bryant is out hottest hitter’ is not the reason you need. Maddon knows he needs a break so that Happ will get the start for him. The question is will he be able to stay as hot as he’s been over the last few games.
In his last four games, he’s batting 6-for-13 (.462) with two home runs, two doubles and one triple. He just missed the cycle by a single. The last one by a Cubs player was done by Mark Grace on June 9, 1993. It’s been a long while since we’ve had one. And unfortunately, we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer.
Striking out much less than before
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Happ has still struck out four times in the last four games. But considering he hasn’t done it two or more times in the last few games is promising. And according to Maddon, being demoted was never an option for him.
"“He’s young, and young guys like that need to play,” “And with the group right now, it’s hard to fit them all in there. When a guy like him is struggling, he really needs to be out there more often than not. So there’s this balancing act going on right now.”"
Second start at 3B
This will only be his second time starting at third base. The last time was Sept. 29, 2017. He was credited with a putout and three assists before being moved to center field in the seventh. So will just his second start at third base put a damper on his offense?
I’d say no. First, Happ has no issue going out and playing anywhere on the field. It doesn’t matter where you put him. If you have a challenge for him? He’ll take it. And even if he does make an error, so be it. It’s not going to get under his skin. He doesn’t hang his head. He’s just working on getting better at everything he does.
Yu Darvish (0-3, 5.56) will take the ball for the Cubs, trying to break from the winless streak. It seems that every start has led to the fifth inning and some sort of issue. Last time it was a cramp that can be attributed to the flu. Hopefully, this will be the start of something good for Darvish.