With several players banged up and under the weather, the Chicago Cubs dipped into their farm system for reinforcement on Saturday, bringing up top-ranked prospect Ian Happ.
Happ, who slugged five home runs and drove in 21 RBI during spring training with the Cubs, will make his MLB debut on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, batting second and playing right field when the rivals tangle at Busch Stadium.
Happ’s call-up was necessitated by a rash of injuries and illness ravaging the Cubs at the moment. Jason Heyward is already on the disabled list with a knuckle injury, and Addison Russell (shoulder) and Ben Zobrist (back) are also under the weather as the Cubs try to right the ship after an inconsistent start to the season.
Slugger Kris Bryant is also out of the lineup for a second consecutive day, as he was a late scratch on Friday and won’t play Saturday as he continues to battle an illness.
Jon Jay is also dealing with some back soreness, knocking him out of the game a day after he was a late replacement for Bryant in the Cubs’ lineup.
Of the Cubs’ eight position players on Saturday afternoon, none are over 28 years of age, as second baseman Tommy La Stella will be the oldest Cub aside from pitcher Jon Lester when they take the field in St. Louis.
With Happ’s debut, every Cubs first round pick that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have made will have made their way to the big leagues, with guys like Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Albert Almora Jr. already having mdae their debuts as well.
Here is the Cubs’ full lineup against the Cardinals:
1 Kyle Schwarber LF
2 Ian Happ RF
3 Anthony Rizzo 1B
4 Jeimer Candelario 3B
5 Tommy La Stella 2B
6 Willson Contreras C
7 Javier Baez SS
8 Jon Lester P
9 Albert Almora Jr. CF
First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m., and the game will air locally on ABC and nationally on FS1.
Published at 1:20 PM CDT on May 13, 2017 | Updated at 1:35 PM CDT on May 13, 2017