Happ is not in the lineup Monday against the Giants. Happ has forced his way into a prominent role in the Cubs' lineup thanks to a 9-for-26 (.346) showing at the plate since his call-up. However, he'll get a chance to rest Monday night with Albert Almora taking over his spot in center field.
Happ is starting in center field and hitting fifth Saturday against the Brewers alongside Jason Heyward (finger), who was activated from the DL and starting in right field. This is noteworthy simply because it shows Happ still has a prominent role for the Cubs even with Heyward returning from the DL. Jon Jay and Albert Almora may be the ones who get squeezed for playing time, at least as long as Happ continues to swing a hot bat. He is hitting .333/.462/.714 with two home runs and a 6:5 K:BB in 21 at-bats since his promotion.
Happ went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run during Thursday's win over Cincinnati. Happ has now reached base 11 times in 22 plate appearances for two homers, four RBI, five runs and a .824 slugging percentage. It's an impressive run, and Happ's pushing to stick with the big club for the long haul. Since being promoted Saturday, Happ, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are the only Cubs to start each of Chicago's five games, so the rookie has clearly made an impression. The Cubs will have a difficult roster decision to make when Jason Heyward (hand) returns from the disabled list, but with so many versatile players on the roster, don't be surprised if manager Joe Maddon finds ways to make Happ a fixture in the middle of the lineup. The rookie is already taking practice reps at the corner infield spots and could quickly earn eligibility at a couple more positions, which is always a valuable virtual boost.
Happ is batting cleanup and playing left field Thursday against the Reds. The scorching-hot callup is finding ways to stick in the lineup, with embattled leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber getting the day off. Happ is making a strong case to remain in the lineup even when Jason Heyward (hand) returns. Perhaps he'll force Jon Jay and Albert Almora to the bench most days.
Happ could work out at the corner infield spots in an effort to get him more playing time, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Happ already moved from his natural spot at the keystone in order to get into the Cubs' stacked lineup, and with Jason Heyward (hand) nearing a return to action, it wouldn't be a terrible move to allow Happ to stay in the majors. That being said, the 22-year-old's performance at the plate alone has done a lot to prove he's worth keeping in Chicago, but the club's intentions should become clear relatively soon once it's forced to make some roster moves.
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