Ian Happ sent to minors

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by - Senior Editor -
David Banks - USA Today Sports
David Banks - USA Today Sports

The Chicago Cubs announced that 24-year old outfielder Ian Happ will start the season in the minors as he will be optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Saturday that they don't have enough at-bats to give to Happ.

"We just want to make sure he gets down there and gets a lot of consistent at-bats, especially from the left side," Maddon said. "Obviously, we consider him a huge part of our future, but just based on the conclusion of last year and what we're seeing at this point this year, we think it's really important that that would happen that way."

Maddon said that Happ took the news hard.

"He's not happy and he shouldn't be happy," he said. "He was surprised. I really don’t blame him."

Happ had a difficult spring batting only .135 with 14 strikeouts showing that his struggles in 2018 were carrying over to 2019. He batted only .233 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs last season. After the All-Star break, he had a dismal .196 batting average.

The Cubs will try to get his bat going so he can regain his confidence that led him to have a fairly successful rookie season in which he bashed 24 homers in only 115 games. He has played in 257 games the last two seasons with the North Siders.

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers, Happ owns the worst two strikeout percentages in a single season in Cubs history with a minimum of 400 at-bats.

Albert Almora Jr. will probably get a few more at-bats in centerfield with Happ being demoted to Triple-A. The Cubs will be fine with their outfielder depth with Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, and others able to fill in.

Happ's demotion could lead to an extra spot for a reliever with some decent options available.

In other Cubs roster news, Junichi Tazawa was granted his release today and pitcher Alec Mills was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.







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