(CBS) If we’re to judge by the praise he’s receiving, it appears more and more likely that rookie Ian Happ will stick with the Cubs this season.
Since being called up about two weeks ago, Happ is hitting .294 with two homers, five RBIs, a .400 on-base percentage and 1.047 OPS in 10 games. He can play anywhere in the outfield and multiple infield spots and has drawn praise from manager Joe Maddon, teammates and the front office as well.
“We remember the night we were discussing what to do with that situation, we were so banged up, we were in St. Louis, we were talking that night — Theo, Joe, me — about how do we play this?” general manager Jed Hoyer said on the Mully and Hanley Show on Thursday morning. “And we talked about bringing Happ up. We thought it might only be for a couple days, but we were all aware if this guy keeps playing the way he was in Triple-A, it’s going to be hard to even send him back or send him back right away. And that’s what’s happened, which is great. That’s exactly what Ian Happ should be doing — making it difficult to make that decision.
“He’s made such a great impact on us already, and certainly when he’s in the lineup as a switch-hitter with power, it makes that lineup feel longer, which has been fun for us.”
Hoyer compared Happ’s situation to that of shortstop Addison Russell, who was called up in April 2015. The Cubs front office thought Russell’s initial big league stint may be of the short-term variety, but he made a quality impression quickly and stuck around for good.
“That’s Ian’s goal,” Hoyer said. “When he goes to bed at night, he’s certainly looking to force our hand and not go back. I think that’s great. We were definitely eyes wide open. We knew it could be short, but we also knew there was definitely the potential that he’d be here for longer.”
Listen to Hoyer’s full interview below.