Ian Happ has spent the entire season at Triple-A Iowa, after having spent most of 2017 and 2018 in the big leagues. He’ll turn 25 in about two weeks, and after having played 99 games for the I-Cubs with a .242/.364/.432 slash line and 16 home runs, he’s coming back to the Cubs. There’s been no official announcement of Happ’s recall, but he is in tonight’s starting lineup:
Here is tonight’s #Cubs starting lineup in Milwaukee. #EverybodyIn— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 26, 2019
Stream on @NBCSChicago: https://t.co/rGCuW1XI7C pic.twitter.com/YcbH32QcAp
That’s quite the lineup, too, with Willson Contreras leading off for the first time since May 6, 2018, and all RH hitters except for Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward.
Earlier Friday, the Cubs designated Tim Collins for assignment at the time they picked up Derek Holland from the Giants. Collins’ departure from the 25-man roster makes room for Happ, and Holland replaces Collins on the 40-man roster (which is still full at 40). Holland won’t be available for Friday’s game at Milwaukee, but a further 25-man roster move will be needed when he’s activated, presumably later this weekend.
I have hope for Happ. He has been a productive player at the big-league level at times over the last two seasons. If he can produce the way the Cubs hoped he would when they made him their No. 1 pick (ninth overall, right after Andrew Benintendi went to the Red Sox), maybe they'll have solved their problem on offense without making a trade.