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Ian Happ Decision Looms, Jon Lester Overcomes Throwing Issues, and Other Bullets

May 19th, 2017 at 9:54 AM
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What a good series all around that was against the Reds, eh? It wasn’t just that the Cubs pulled off their first sweep of the year, it was that they got solid contributions in all phases of the game for what seems like the first series of the year. The bats were clicking, the starters pitched well and into the later innings, and the bullpen tightened up when needed.

Playing against a now-under-.500-probably-for-good Reds team didn’t hurt either, as the Cubs had previously played the toughest schedule in the NL.

  • Ian Happ reached base another three times yesterday, knocking a double, a single, and drawing a walk. It’s a nothingburger sample size, but Happ is hitting an LOL .353/.500/.824 through his first 22 plate appearances, is absolutely crushing the ball when he makes contact, and is walking and striking out in equal measure when he doesn’t (22.7%). The young man has the look of a player who belongs, but the roster and the lineup needs are unquestionably a complicating factor here, as we’ve discussed this week. Jason Heyward is due back any day now after a rehab start at South Bend last night, and when he returns, he’s going to start almost every day. That reduces the available playing time for Happ – or Javy Baez or Ben Zobrist – significantly, and the questions of what’s best for the near-term 2017 Cubs, what’s best for the late-season 2017 Cubs, what’s best for the long-term Cubs, and what’s best for Happ all stew together in a difficult pot.

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  • Of course, Joe Maddon is all about simplicity, and he said – joked? – after the game yesterday, asking rhetorically whether Happ’s performance is making things tough on the Cubs â?¦ or making things easy (Cubs.com). If we kept things extremely simple, you’d look at what Happ has done so far, you’d …

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http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/05/19/ian-happ-decision-looms-jon-lester-overcomes-throwing-issues-and-other-bullets/

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Tags: Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

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