Cubs News: Top 3 candidates to replace Kris Bryant as the leadoff hitter

David Ross (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
David Ross (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Cubs outfielder Ian Happ rounds third at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Cubs are finally getting big-time production out of Ian Happ

It took a few seasons, and I don’t want to speak too soon, but it looks like we are finally seeing the form of Ian Happ we’ve been waiting for: five home runs, 13 RBI and a .313 average through 20 games played.

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With Bryant out with a hand/wrist injury, Ross put Happ in the leadoff spot for Tuesday night’s matchup against the Cardinals. Happ showed he could be in this spot for the long haul, going 2-for-3 with two walks and a solo home run in the 6-3 win.

With this current Cubs roster, Happ is best to man the top of the order, but I would not want to ruin his great play we have seen thus far. There is a lot of pressure at the top of the lineup, if there wasn’t then anyone could be a successful leadoff hitter. Happ might be a good short-term solution, but ultimately when the going gets tough, I think he still needs to prove he can come through in clutch situations.

If Epstein is able to bring in a proven option at the leadoff spot, Happ would move back down in the order. No doubt the pressure is high late in the season regardless of where he would be hitting, but he would be asked to do a lot less than he would batting leadoff. I think this will help him, as well as the team in the long run and we will continue to see him play at a high level.

If not Happ, the answer to the leadoff man lies somewhere else.